ID cards to be extended to more migrant categories

The cards will replace stickers or vignettes in passports 11th February 2009: New regulations have been laid before Parliament aiming at extending identity cards to more successful applicants for leave to remain from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The cards replace the stickers or vignettes in passports.

Should the Parliament approve the regulations, those applying for further leave to remain in the United Kingdom in the following categories will be required to provide their biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) as part of their application from 31st March 2009.

Academic visitors granted leave for a period exceeding six months: The total stay in the UK is more than six months, up to a maximum period of 12 months.

Visitors for private medical treatment: Where the applicant is required to extend their stay in the UK so that they are able to complete private medical treatment.

Domestic workers in a private household: Applies to overseas domestic workers who have accompanied a person entitled to live in the UK and are applying to extend their permission to stay in the country based upon their employment as domestic workers.

United Kingdom ancestry: Covers people who are Commonwealth citizens, have a British grandparent and can demonstrate a link with the UK.

Retired persons of independent means, and their partners and children: This category is no longer open to new applicants, but where a person is already in the UK under this category they may extend their leave on the same basis. It applies to persons aged over 60 with substantial means to support themselves.

Sole representatives: These are overseas employees recruited by an overseas company to act as their sole representative in the UK.

In addition, those applying while in the UK for a transfer of existing conditions from a passport or other such document will also receive an identity card instead of a stamp or vignette, if their application is successful.

These categories are expected to join students and spouses or civil or unmarried partners, and their dependents who were granted further leave to remain and were the first to receive the card from 25th November 2008.

Foreign nationals seeking indefinite leave to remain and the settled population remain unaffected by the changes.

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