Foreign nationals being issued identity cards to get choice of giving fingerprints and snaps at `participating Crown post offices'
Tags: Identity cards. Alan Johnson, Home Office
24 September 2009: From October, foreign nationals who are being issued identity cards will be given the choice of providing their fingerprints and photograph at one of the participating Crown post offices for a fee of £8. The same can also be provided at one of the UK Border Agency or Identity and Passport Service Offices currently included within the scheme which will remain free.
The UK Border Agency elaborated that it is to tryout the technology at 17 Crown post offices to provide foreign nationals applying for identity cards with alternative and more accessible venues, where they can enroll their fingerprints. The trials will start rolling out from October.
The Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, said: 'Our partnership with the Post Office will provide vital extra capacity, enabling the UK Border Agency to further speed up the enrolment process and give extra work to help safeguard the Post Office network. It will also give more choice and convenience to migrants about where they can enroll.'
Identity cards for foreign nationals who come to the UK from outside the European Economic Area were introduced in November 2008. Migrants are required to have their photograph and fingerprints taken, securely locking them to one identity and helping them to prove their right to live and work in the United Kingdom – while helping businesses to crack down on illegal working.
The Post Office will not be making decisions on whether someone can stay in the UK, and extensive checking of enrolment details will continue to be conducted by the UK Border Agency.
Alan Cook, managing director of the Post Office, said: 'The Post Office is very pleased to be supporting this trial, as our reputation for trust and the unparalleled reach of our network means we can offer secure and efficient transfer of personal data while the potential for earning additional income would help support and sustain the nationwide branch network.'
Related article: Skilled migrants to get identity cards from the New Year