The Home Office has confirmed that the Government has decided to abolish the Police Registration Scheme, with immediate effect. This means that the Police Registration Scheme is now suspended and foreign nationals of specified nationalities, aged 16 or over, usually granted more than six months' leave in certain migration categories are no longer required to register with the police when they arrive in the UK or secure further leave to remain.
Former Requirement to Register with the Police
The police registration scheme, which required some migrants to register with the police, was provided for in Part 10, paragraphs 325 to 326 of the Immigration Rules,
As set out in paragraph 325 of the Immigration Rules a "relevant foreign national" was a person of 16 years or over, who was a national or citizen of a country listed in Appendix 2, a stateless person, or a person holding a non-national travel document.
Appendix 2 to the Immigration Rules listed the countries or territories whose nationals or citizens were relevant foreign nationals for the purposes of Part 10 of these Rules and were therefore required to register.
Somewhat confusingly for applicants and their advisors, although Home Office guidance on police registration was withdrawn on 4 August 2022 and the Home Office website now includes a statement confirming the end of the police registration scheme, these provisions of the Immigraion Rules remain in the currently published version of the Rules. This is so despite various amendments having been made to other parts of the Immigration Rules on 11 August 2022.
The Home Office has confirmed, however, that the Police Registration Scheme is currently suspended and legislative changes necessary to abolish the Police Registration Scheme will be effected in the Autumn.
Police Registration Scheme Abolished
The official announcement from the Home Office explains the reasons for the abolition of the Police Registration Scheme as follows;
'We are abolishing the requirement to register with the police as the police registration scheme in its current form is outdated and no longer provides any public protection benefit to either the Home Office or the police. The data a migrant provides to the police on registration is already captured by the Home Office at the visa application stage, and is available to the police on request via Immigration Enforcement, so there is no need for it to be provided twice.'
What if My Visa Says I Have to Register With the Police?
If you have not yet travelled to the UK, you will either be reissued with a new visa or notified that you do not need to register with the police in advance of your travel.
If you have been granted leave to enter or remain in the UK and have a condition to register with the police endorsed on your status document then you no longer need to go to a police station to register. You also no longer need to communicate any updated personal details to the police.
What if I Have Already Registered With the Police?
If you have previously registered with the police then you do not need to do anything.
You also no longer need to communicate any updated personal details to the police. However, any changes to your personal circumstances, including a change of address, should still be communicated to the Home Office directly via: https://www.gov.uk/change-circumstances-visa-brp
If you apply for further leave to remain and are successful in your application then a requirement to register with the police will not be included on your new BRP.
Will My Visa / BRP / Digital Status Be Amended?
Any condition of leave on your visa / BRP / digital status requiring you to register with the police will not be amended. However, any future BRP or status document will not include a condition to register with the police.
Do I Need to Keep My Police Registration Certificate?
When applying for permission to stay in the UK you will not be required to provide your Police Registration Certificate as part of your application. You will also not be required to produce your Police Registration Certificate to a police officer or an immigration officer at any other time. You therefore do not need to keep your Police Registration Certificate.
What if I Failed to Register Within 7 Days of My Arrival in the UK?
If, prior to the suspension of the Police Registration Scheme, you failed to register within 7 days of your arrival into the UK, you do not need to register with the police now. The suspension means that any foreign national who did not register as requested is no longer expected to do so.
Questions About Changes to the Police Registration Scheme
If you have any questions about the changes to the Police Registration Scheme, you can e-mail CriminalityPolicyGuidanceQueries@homeoffice.gov.uk
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.