30 March 2009
UK identity cards extended to include more UK visa applicants
As of tomorrow, 31 March 2009, more UK visa holders will be required to submit biometric information when applying for an extension to their UK visa.
The UK identity card is designed for UK visa holders who need to prove their identity and their right to work, study and live in Britain to employers, immigration officers and police. The cards hold the UK visa information, as well as personal and biometric information of the UK visa holder.
Already, spouses or partners and UK student visa holders have been a part of the identity card scheme, which has been live since November 2008. As of tomorrow, the following categories of UK visa holders will need to get an identity card, and send in biometric information with their application for an extension to their UK visa:
• 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.
All UK visa holders having their right to stay and work in the UK transferred into a passport or other document will receive a national identity card, and over the next three years the scheme will be gradually extended to require all foreign nationals from outside the EEA to have an identity card if they are to stay in the UK on a visa lasting longer than six months.
Tomorrow will also see the implementation of the new UK student visa categories in tier 4 of the points-based immigration system (child student and adult student), which will replace the old category for UK student visas.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.