For the first time, foreign nationals in Sheffield can enrol for identity cards containing their facial image and fingerprints, the Home Secretary announced during a visit to the city today.
ID cards will securely lock foreign nationals to one identity and help businesses crack down on illegal working.
Biometric enrolment for the cards – which involves individuals having their digital photograph and fingerprints recorded – will take place at the UK Border Agency’s Vulcan House building. The Home Secretary opened the building today and met some of the 1,900 staff working there.
The Home Secretary also met staff working on the new Australian-style points system for migrant workers – which also operates from the new building. The points system is the UK’s tough new measure for managing migration to the UK.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said:
"What I have seen today demonstrates that we are successfully delivering two of our most important changes to the immigration system – ID cards for foreign nationals and the points system.
"ID cards will give employers a secure way of checking a migrant’s right to work and study in the UK and help people prove they are who they say are. The points system will ensure that only those we need – and no more – can come here to work.
"Staff at Vulcan House are leading the way in implementing what is the biggest shake-up to the immigration system for a generation – ensuring Britain has one of the fairest systems in the world."