Skilled migrants seeking to renew their visas will now be required to apply for a compulsory ID card, Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas announced yesterday.
Since the scheme was introduced in November 2008 for students renewing their visa under Tier 4 of the Points Based System (PBS) and people seeking to renew marriage visas, more than 130,000 cards have been issued.
The scheme is now being extended to incorporate skilled foreign workers under Tier 2 of the PBS. This brings the roll out forward from April this year and adds around 40,000 foreign nationals a year to those currently being issued with the cards.
The cards – for non-Europeans who are applying to extend their stay in the UK – securely lock foreign nationals to one identity. They will also help foreign nationals prove their right to live and work in the UK while making it easier for businesses to crack down on illegal working.
It is estimated that by the end of 2014/15 about 90 per cent of all foreign nationals will have been issued with an Identity Card.
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