Details of migrants who need to apply, and how
11th December 2009: Skilled migrant workers, or their dependants, are to receive identity card for foreign nationals from next month.
Here are the details about categories of migrants, who need to apply for an identity card, and how they can do so.
Categories of migrant
When certain categories of migrant from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland apply for permission to extend their stay in the United Kingdom, they must also apply for an identity card for foreign nationals.
The card was introduced in November 2008, and in March 2009, the Border Agency broadened the range of migrants who are required to have one.
An applicant category table, which can be downloaded from the Agency website, lists the categories of migrant who must apply for an identity card when they apply to extend their stay in the United Kingdom.
The Border Agency says they propose that from the end of 2010 highly skilled and temporary workers will need to apply for an identity card when they apply to extend their stay under Tier 1 or Tier 5 of the points-based system.
The Border Agency will continue to put a sticker (vignette) in the passports of successful applicants who do not yet need to apply for an identity card as part of their immigration application. The two systems will run alongside each other as the Agency issues identity cards to more categories of migrant.
Under current plans, everyone who successfully applies to extend their stay in the United Kingdom, or who comes here for more than six months, will need to have an identity card for foreign nationals by April 2011. By 2015, the Agency expects that 90 per cent of nationals from outside the EEA and Switzerland will have a card.
How can a migrant get a card?
Migrants who apply to extend their stay in the United Kingdom will be told whether they need to apply for an identity card as part of their immigration application. If so, they will need to enroll their biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) with us.
Applicants can enroll their biometrics at a range of biometric enrolment centres around the United Kingdom. They will need to book an appointment, and the Agency has made this process more convenient by launching an online booking service alongside telephone booking.
Enrolling biometrics is a quick and clean process. The Agency takes a digital photograph of the applicant, and asks them to put their fingers on a glass screen for scanning – there is no ink or mess. The process takes less than five minutes.
If their application is successful, the migrant should receive their identity card no more than 10 working days after the date of the letter extending their permission to stay.