27 November 2008

Home Secretary: ID cards will strengthen UK's borders

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In a press release, Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary, announced the UK Home Office would start making identity cards mandatory for foreign nationals living, working and studying in Britain on Tuesday 25 November.

The ID cards would provide instant proof to businesses, employers and educational institutions that a person is legally working or studying in Britain.

The ID cards would also make security easier for immigration officers and police officers, who are clamping down on illegal working, human trafficking, organised immigration crime and benefit fraud. 

The ID cards will use biometrics, including fingerprints and facial images, so that making false identities becomes a tactic of the past.

Ms Smith said, "The first identity cards for foreign nationals along with the launch of Tiers 2 and 5 of the points system demonstrate our commitment to preventing immigration abuse and protecting the prosperity of the United Kingdom.

"In time identity cards for foreign nationals will replace paper documents and give employers a safe and secure way of checking a migrant's right to work and study in the United Kingdom."

By 2011, the government will make it mandatory for all non-European nationals who move to the UK for six months or longer to have an ID card to prove their right to live, work and study there.

"The National Identity Scheme will deliver a secure and simple proof of ID for all those legally entitled to live and work in the UK – and the majority of people say they welcome identity cards and the benefits they will bring," Ms Smith said in a press release in the Telegraph.

Ms Smith encouraged those eligible people to pre-register their interest for their identity cards now. 

"I am confident the small group of volunteers chosen for these first cards will quickly realise, like I already do, that identity cards are secure, convenient and here to help protect us all."


The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.


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