ID cards expanded to more categories of immigrants

ID cards are meant to lock foreign nationals into one identity and help businesses crack down on illegal working 27 March 2009. The Parliament has approved regulations allowing the UK Border Agency to expand the identity cards scheme to several categories of immigration applicants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

In November last year Home Office introduced the first identity cards for spouses or partners and students given permission to extend their leave.

From 31st March this year, migrants granted an extension in the following categories will also get an identity card: postgraduate doctors and dentists; academic visitors granted leave for more than six months; visitors for private medical treatment; domestic workers in a private household; United Kingdom ancestry; retired persons of independent means; sole representatives; dependants where applicable and when applying at the same time; and those applying for a transfer of conditions.

Those applying for a transfer of conditions into a passport or other document will receive a card if successful, regardless of whether their category has been rolled out, meaning that any foreign national with limited permission to stay might hold a card as evidence of their right to be in the United Kingdom.

As the numbers of foreign nationals required to give their biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) increases, Home Office said that they are working to increase the number of biometric enrolment centres.

There are currently seven offices around the United Kingdom – Croydon, Sheffield, Liverpool, Solihull, Cardiff, Glasgow and Armagh in Northern Ireland.

Over the next three years, Home Office plans to provide identity cards to all non EEA nationals extending their permission to stay in the United Kingdom and those coming into the United Kingdom on visas for more than six months. By the end of 2014/15 about 90 per cent of all non EEA nationals will have been issued with a card.

ID cards will replace the stamps, stickers and other immigration status documents, enabling those here legally to prove it more easily and giving employers, sponsors and public service providers a simple, more secure way to prove a person’s immigration status and eligibility to work, study or access benefits in the United Kingdom.

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