Skilled migrants to get identity cards from New Year

Skilled foreign workers under Tier 2 of points-based system to get the cards from January 2010


Tags: Alan Johnson, points-based system, visas


24 September 2009: If you are a skilled migrant renewing visa to stay in the United Kingdom, you can look forward to getting an identity card three months in advance. For Home Secretary Alan Johnson has announced such migrants will be issued an identity card from the new year, three months ahead of schedule.

Giving details, the Home Office said skilled foreign workers under Tier 2 of the points-based system will be issued identity cards from January 2010. This brings the roll-out forward from April 2010 and will add around 30,000 foreign nationals a year to those currently being issued identity cards.

Since their introduction, 90,000 cards have been issued, mainly to students renewing their visa under Tier 4 of the points-based system and those renewing marriage visas.

The announcement means the government has accelerated the roll-out to include foreign nationals in the UK who renew their right to stay under Tier 2; and has exceeded its target of issuing 75,000 cards by November 2009.

The Home Secretary said: ‘Identity cards have been issued to 90,000 foreign nationals, exceeding our target by 15,000, a month ahead of schedule. By speeding up the roll-out of the cards, more people will benefit from a secure and simple way to prove they are entitled to live, work or study here and it will prevent those here illegally from benefiting from the privileges of Britain”.

The introduction of the identity cards for skilled migrants and temporary workers under Tiers 1 and 5 of the points-based system will also be brought forward from 2011 to 2010.

Regulations setting out the next stage of the roll-out of identity cards for foreign nationals will be laid in Parliament in October.

For more information, see the Identity cards for foreign nationals section of the Border Agency website.


Related article: How immigrants to the UK can apply for identity cards



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