http://news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0,1000 ... 352,00.htm
ID cards brought forward for some immigrants
Tom Espiner ZDNet UK
Published: 06 Jan 2010 15:37 GMT
Compulsory ID cards for certain foreign nationals have been brought forward, according to a Home Office announcement.
Skilled workers with sponsors, known as Tier 2 immigrants, will have to apply for the cards from Wednesday, the Home Office said. Previously, this group was scheduled to begin compulsory enrolment in April.
"Identity cards have already been issued to more than 130,000 foreign nationals, with a total of approximately 140,000 due to be issued by the end of the financial year," said border and immigration minister Phil Woolas in a statement on Wednesday. "Identity cards are a secure and simple way for foreign nationals to prove they are entitled to live, work or study in the UK."
Tier 2 immigrants will be required to provide their fingerprints and a photograph at either UK Border Agency biometric enrolment centres or at 17 participating Post Offices around Britain. The foreign nationals will be invited to Post Office enrolment by the Post Office. Those foreign nationals enrolling at participating Post Offices will have to pay an £8 administrative fee.
Privacy campaigner Guy Herbert, who is general secretary of the No2ID group, said on Wednesday that the government was already aware of the identity of the Tier 2 foreign nationals, making ID cards for this group superfluous.
"It's completely wasteful," said Herbert. "[The government] are aiming at people they already have an enormous amount of information about, who are in no position to resist or kick up a fuss."