December 3, 2012 -
Applicants outside the European Economic Area or Switzerland granted permission to stay in the UK for more than 6 months must now apply for a biometric residence permit.
In a move to ensure the UK Border Agency (UKBA) meets its obligations under European legislation, biometric residence permits will replace older forms of documentation. The UKBA has been rolling out biometric residents permits to different visa categories over the last four years and suggests these new measures will help to combat illegal immigration, abuse of the immigration system and the misuse of public funds.
A biometric residence permit is usually issued to European immigrants who are staying within the United Kingdom for a considerable amount of time.
Many countries today are actively looking at new ways to deploy biometrics as a part of their immigration and citizenship efforts.
Last month, Canadian authorities announced the country will begin to capture biometrics from temporary residents, as a part of the Temporary Resident Biometrics Project.
As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, more than three years after the deadline was set for all EU member-states with the exception of the UK and Ireland, to issue biometric passports, Belgium still fails to comply with this requirement. As a result, the European Commission has referred the country to the Court of Justice of the EU.
The new UKBA requirement for biometric residence permits affects those granted permission to stay in the UK for more than 6 months on or after December 1, 2012.