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How to enroll biometrics with Home Office through mobile service

Applicants can request biometrics enrolment at private address, even care home, hospital

27th October 2009: Migrant applicants can now request biometrics enrolment at a private address, care home or even hospital, with the UK Border Agency introducing a mobile service for migrants in the United Kingdom.

The Vulcan House biometrics team in Sheffield has become the base for a new mobile enrolment team (MET) covering the area from north of the Midlands into Scotland, while another team in Croydon will cover the rest of the country.

When a migrant applies for an identity card for foreign nationals as part of their immigration application, the Border Agency takes their biometric details face to face to fix their identity and check them against existing records. This normally takes place at a Home Office biometric enrolment centre, but some of the customers cannot attend these centres for medical reasons – and it's these customers that the MET will initially seek to assist.

Applicants can now request enrolment at a private address, care home or hospital, for example. The service also allows the Border Agency to enroll the biometrics of migrants in detention centres or prisons. In these exceptional cases, the mobile service will attract no additional fee, but the Agency is also exploring the possibility of offering the service to individuals prepared to pay a premium for enrolment at their home or workplace.

Lisa Towers, head of the Sheffield biometrics team, says: 'The mobile enrolment system performs exactly the same function as the fixed units, except the equipment can be packed away in the back of a standard saloon car. It uses the latest wireless technology to transmit information directly to the biometric database. As a result, no images, fingerprints or personal information are stored on the laptop, and customers can rest assured that security cannot be compromised.'

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