From next month, skilled migrant workers and their dependants will receive an identity card for foreign nationals when they successfully apply to extend their stay in the UK under Tier 2 of the Points Based System.
Under regulations approved by Parliament on Wednesday, all Tier 2 applications made inside the UK on or after 6 January 2010 will involve the enrolment of the applicant's biometric information (fingerprints and photograph).
Migrants in a number of other categories must already enrol their biometrics and obtain an identity card for foreign nationals when they apply to extend their stay in the UK.
As the number of migrants required to enrol their biometrics increases, this year the UK Border Agency have increased the range of options for them to do so:
- There are now 11 Home Office biometric enrolment centres around the
UK - foreign nationals can book appointments at these centres through the UK Border Agency's new online booking service or by telephone.
- Postal applicants living within certain postcodes can now choose to enrol their biometrics at a limited number of Crown post offices nationwide. This is a trial walk-in service, with no need to book an appointment, but is currently available only to applicants who have been sent an invitation to use it. Applicants using this service will need to pay an additional fee of £8.00 to Post Office Ltd. Seventeen post offices will be taking part in the trial, with the locations published on the UK Border Agency website as they come online.
In addition, for a premium fee, applicants can choose to apply in person and receive a same-day decision on their application at one of the UK Border Agency's seven public enquiry offices. Please note that appointments for this service at Croydon are often in high demand, but appointments are available at regional offices in Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Solihull and Sheffield.
** Additional Information & Advice **
You can obtain further information about immigration on FindLaw.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, however, it may be better to speak with a solicitor who specialises in immigration law. You can be matched with a solicitor for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.