Leicester post office will take biometrics for migrants

From September 2012 a post office in Leicester will take biometrics for migrants.

The new biometrics centre will operate from the Post Office sub-branch at WH Smith in Gallowtree Gate, making it more convenient for foreign nationals living in Leicester who currently have to travel to nearby towns and cities to apply for a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

Foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) applying to stay in the UK for more than six months need to have their photograph and fingerprints taken before they are issued with a BRP.

The UK Border Agency completed the rollout of BRPs to all new applicants within the UK in February this year and will see the number of foreign nationals issued with BRPs doubling to 400,000 a year.

The system was expanded to include refugees and those given the right to live in the UK permanently.

BRPs, which hold a person's fingerprints and photograph on a secure chip, help prevent immigration abuse and illegal working by making it simple and quick to confirm information on each individual's work and benefits entitlements.

“This new enrolment site provides a more convenient and accessible location for Leicester-based foreign nationals to register their biometric details,” Immigration Minister Damian Green, said. “Taking a photograph and fingerprints locks an individual into one identity, enabling the UK Border Agency to check against existing immigration and police records. This helps ensure that only those with the right to be here can take a job legally in the UK and enjoy the services to which they are entitled.”

BRPs were introduced to replace the vignette (sticker) residence permits in passports and other paper-based UK immigration documents to simplify the system and prevent abuse.

Tackle racist attacks by extremist groups, States urged

Family migration route: Britain ready to slam the door on its poor relations