14 May 2009
UK visa holders have more sites to register biometrics
As part of the changes to the UK visa system, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has introduced compulsory identity cards for foreign nationals. In order to ease the process for UK visa holders, more sites to lodge biometric information have been established, the UK Border Agency announced today.
UK visa holders who entered Britain as partners or students have been issued compulsory identity cards since November 2008. In March of this year, the categories for the identity card scheme were expanded to more categories, including:
- academic visitors granted leave for more than six months;
- visitors for private medical treatment;
- domestic workers in a private household;
- United Kingdom ancestry;
- retired persons of independent means;
- sole representatives;
- dependants where applicable and when applying at the same time; and
- those applying for a transfer of conditions.
Now, biometric enrolment facilities are being set up for UK visa holders in Elephant and Castle (London), Birmingham, Derby and Brighton to join those already operating in Croydon, Sheffield, Liverpool, Solihull, Cardiff, and Glasgow.
A new UKBA public enquiry office with biometric enrolment services will also open in Belfast to replace the Armagh office that has been offering enrolment services in the meantime.
The UKBA is hoping that the identity scheme will be extended to include all levels of the British population over the next few years, so that not only UK visa holders need to prove their identity to authorities. Currently, the ID cards are being used by specified UK visa holders so that they may easily prove their right to work, live or study in Britain.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.