To help the increasing number of foreign nationals who have to enrol their biometric information (fingerprints and photograph) when they apply to extend their stay in the United Kingdom, the UK Border Agency is setting up new biometric enrolment facilities around the country.
Since November 2008, UKBA have been issuing compulsory identity cards to foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area who extend their stay here as partners or students. In March 2009, UKBA expanded the scheme to more categories of applicant.
UKBA are working with the Identity and Passport Service to set up biometric enrolment facilities for foreign nationals in four of its interview offices in June. The four offices are in:
- Elephant and Castle, London
Also in June, they will open a new UK Border Agency public enquiry office with enrolment capability in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This will replace the interim biometric enrolment solution in Armagh, Northern Ireland, which has been operating in partnership with IPS since last year.
UKBA will continue to offer the biometric enrolment service at our UK Border Agency offices in Sheffield, Liverpool, Solihull, Cardiff, Glasgow and Croydon. Lunar House in Croydon is the United Kingdom's largest centre for biometric enrolment, and this month they increased the number of its enrolment booths from 10 to 15.
Enrolment will continue to be by appointment only at all offices. By recording and checking fingerprints and digital photographs against existing records before deciding whether to grant permission to stay, UKBA can strengthen our border and reduce abuse of the system. The identity card issued to successful applicants helps to prove their right to live, work or study here, and helps employers, educational establishments and public service providers understand migrants' entitlements.