The Immigration Rules require that certain migrants must register with the police after arriving in the UK on a visa or after receiving permission to extend their stay here. Which migrants this applies to depends largely on their nationality and the type of visa they have been issued. Details of who falls into this category were included in our previous blog: https://www.gherson.com/blog/police-registration-legal-landmine.
Migrants to whom this requirement applies must register with the local police station in their area. If the relevant migrant relocates to an area within Greater London, which is covered by the Metropolitan Police, the migrant must register at the Overseas Visitors Records Office (“OVRO”). Note that at the present time the OVRO remains closed until further notice.
After obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (“ILR”), the relevant migrant will no longer be subject to immigration restrictions. Consequently, if one were obliged to have and keep updated a police Registration Certificate, this requirement no longer applies once ILR has been obtained.
However, whereas previously the relevant migrant was simply able to dispose of their police Registration Certificate after obtaining ILR, the Home Office are now, in certain approval emails and letters, providing instructions on what should be done with a police Registration Certificate following the grant of ILR.
For example: “Police Registration Certificate – If you previously had to register with the police, once you are granted indefinite leave to remain you no longer need to do this. You should return your police registration certificate to the office or police station where it was issued to you. If you are unable to do so, return it to the nearest issuing office or police station. You can find the nearest office or station here: http://www.gov.uk/register-with-the-police/where-to-register”.
It is vital that applicants check their Home Office approval email or letter in order to check the exact wording used in their individual correspondence. The wording above is provided as an example only, and it cannot be guaranteed that all Home Office correspondence will contain the same wording and the same instructions.
It seems from the wording of the quotation above that if a relevant migrant obtained their police Registration Certificate from the OVRO then it can also be returned to the OVRO, at 323 Borough High St, London SE1 1JL. If you are unable to return your certificate to the police station that issued it then it is possible to return it to the nearest issuing office or police station. When returning the police Registration Certificate, it is important to track its return, possibly by sending it by Special Delivery post, in order to have proof of postage and delivery.
There is a similar requirement to return to the Home Office a Biometric Residence Permit (“BRP”) from a previous grant of leave, or where you were issued with a replacement. The address for the return of BRPs should be included in the Home Office approval letter or email. Failure to return a BRP may result in a penalty of up to £1,000, although at present no penalties are being enforced for failure to return a police Registration Certificate in the manner described above.
Nevertheless, as details of how to return one’s police Registration Certificate following the grant of ILR have only recently started to be included in some Home Office approval letters, it is unclear whether a penalty for failure to do so could be implemented at a later date.
Gherson has a wealth of experience in dealing with UK visa and immigration matters. If you have any specific questions or queries in respect of your particular circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Trainee Solicitor in our General Immigration Department