Roll out of Identity Cards for Foreign Nationals

From January 2010, skilled foreign workers applying or extending under Tier 2 of the Points Based System will be issued with an identity card. Previously, these cards have only been issued to students renewing their visas under Tier 4, and those extending their visa under the Spouse / Civil Partner category. The UK Border Agency has now announced that the scheme will roll-out across Tier 2 from January 2010 and to Tier 1 and Tier 5 later next year.

The introduction of Identity cards has been brought forward across all Tiers by around three months ahead of schedule.

The cards will only be issued to non-EEA nationals and will require migrants to have digital photograph and finger-scans taken. It has also been announced that shortly, foreign nationals being issued an identity card can have their biometric data taken at one of 17 post offices across the UK, who will be offering this service for a charge of £8, or at one of the UK Border Agency Identity and Passport Service Offices without charge.

Further regulations concerning the next stages of the scheme will be confirmed by Parliament within the coming months.

For further information on whether or not this will affect you, please contact us.