My visa is in an old/expired passport
If you have renewed your passport but your visa is still a sticker (vignette) in your old passport, you can:
- Remain in the UK legally under the conditions of your current visa
- Travel in and out of the UK - if you leave the UK you must carry both your new passport and your old passport containing your visa
However, having a visa in an expired passport is likely to cause you problems if you want to find employment in the UK. It can also cause problems if you already have a job and you want to continue working for your employer.
This is because your employer is legally required by the Home Office to check that you have the right to work in the UK. They are bound by the Employers' Guide to Right To Work Checks, which states that you must be able to present "A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK and is currently allowed to do the type of work in question".
If you cannot show this because your visa is in an expired passport, your employer will refuse to employ you and you should not work. If you are already working when you obtain your new passport, your employer should take a copy of the new passport and stop you from working until you have applied to transfer your visa (see below).
What should I do?
If you don't plan on finding employment in the UK, then you don't need to do anything about your visa.
If you do want to find employment or you are already employed, you will need to make an application to the Home Office for a separate biometric residence permit (BRP) so that you meet the requirement in the employers' guidance.
You can apply to transfer your visa on the Home Office website. The cost of the application will depend on the type of immigration permission that you have, but the application form is the same:
You will apply for a 'Transfer of Conditions' (TOC), which will cost £161. Once you apply, the Home Office will issue you with the same visa but on a BRP card. This means that you will have a current visa endorsed on a current visa document.
You will apply for a 'No Time Limit' (NTL), which will cost £229. Once you apply, the Home Office will issue you with the same visa but on a BRP card. This means that you will have a current visa endorsed on a current visa document.
The International Student Advice team can help you to make your application. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0121 204 4007 to make an appointment to see an adviser.
Can I work once I have made the application?
Once you have submitted your TOC or NTL application, your employer can contact the Home Office to verify that the application is in progress. Once they have confirmation, they can employ you or let you continue to work if you were already working for them at the point that you obtained your new passport.
For further information or advice, please contact the International Student Advice team.
Last updated 31/01/2019 JCD