United Kingdom: Biometric Residence Permit Program Expanded
Effective December 14, foreign nationals applying to extend a stay under the Tier 1 or Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) immigration category will be required to apply for a UK biometric residence permit as well.
Foreign nationals seeking to extend their UK immigration status under the Tier 1 or Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) category will soon be required to apply for a biometric residence permit. Effective December 14, Tier 1 and Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) extension applicants will have to submit biometric data (fingerprints and a digital photograph) with their applications. If the extension application is granted, the foreign national will also receive the biometric residence permit.
Tiers 1 and 5 (Temporary Worker) are the latest immigration categories to be subject to the biometric residence permit, which was originally introduced in November 2008 and has been rolled out in stages to various categories of non-European Union foreign nationals in the UK. The permit contains the holder’s photograph, name, date of birth, nationality, immigration status, and biometric details. It enables employers and sponsors to confirm the holder’s authorization to work and study, and is also used by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to verify identity. The permit replaces immigration stamps and stickers as evidence of status and work or study authorization.
The expansion of the biometrics requirement is expected to result in increased processing times for Tier 1 and Tier 5 (Temporary Worker). As such, employers should identify any Tier 1 or Tier 5 employees who will need extensions soon and determine whether their applications can be submitted prior to December 14.
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