UNITED KINGDOM | Police Registration Requirement Ends

September 2, 2022

Until recently, the UK Immigration Rules required certain foreign nationals with non-settled status to register with the police upon entering the UK, however from 4 August 2022 this requirement ceased.

While the Home Office is yet to formally revoke the relevant parts of the Immigration Rules requiring police registration – and which has caused inevitable confusion on this development – the Home Office is working in the background to give effect to this, with its published online guidance on police registration already withdrawn. Furthermore, a public notice issued jointly by the Home Office, National Police Chiefs’ Council and Counter Terrorism Policing is currently in wide circulation, being issued to individuals attempting to register via local police stations and the Overseas Visitors Records Office (OVRO). In addition, the GOV.UK website states that “The police registration scheme ended on 4 August 2022. You no longer need to register with the police. This page is currently out of date.”

It is therefore understood that despite the Immigration Rules on police registration technically still effective, the inability for individuals to actually register with the police means that they are no longer at risk of criminal prosecution and/or refusal of immigration permission for failing to register.

Responding to Newland Chase’s enquiries on the above, the Home Office has indicated that the withdrawal of police registration stems from its current form being found to be outdated and no longer providing a public protection benefit, to either the Home Office or the police. It also cites that broader changes to the wider immigration system since the registration scheme was introduced now means that more people are screened before travel to the UK so individuals of concern can be identified earlier in their interaction with the Home Office.

So, while the existing police registration scheme has seemingly come to an end, it remains a possibility that it may return, albeit in a different form that perhaps dovetails with other methods of pre-travel screening. Indeed, this appears consistent with the Home Office’s “New Plan for Immigration”, which promises greater use of digital solutions to matters of security. As ever with the Home Office, watch this space.

Organisations and individuals impacted by this development are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to the UK, please contact us.

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.