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Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Skilled foreigners must get ID cards in UK under new program requiring biometrics | Washington Examiner
"LONDON — New regulations that took effect Wednesday require skilled foreign workers who extend their stay in Britain to obtain identity cards containing biometric data, including finger prints and photographs. The UK Border Agency rules are part of the extended rollout of a 2008 program that will require all foreign workers who plan to stay in Britain six months or longer to obtain an ID card by April 2011. The rules apply only to workers from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland. British officials say the ID cards for foreign workers will help combat illegal workers and illegal immigration and allow cardholders to establish their identity and immigration status, making it easier for them to access various benefits they are entitled to. The cards, in conjunction with workers' passports, can also be used to facilitate entry into Britain after trips abroad, officials said. Skilled workers are defined as those with a job sponsor who can establish their skills and earnings potential on a point-based system that also takes into account their English language ability."