#Article (Archive)

Tough New Rules for Foreign Nationals in UK

Nov 27, 2008, 5:12 AM

Foreign nationals in the United Kingdom will now apply for identity with effect from today, Thursday 27th November 2008.

According to a press release from the British High Commission in Banjul, stringent new rules to bring workers to the UK through Tiers 2 and 5 of the points system would begin.

The identity cards, according to the release, will contain their facial image and fingerprints and will be securely locked to one identity and will help protect against identity fraud, illegal working and immigration, crime and terrorism among other things. It will also enable those in the UK legally to prove it and prevent those there illegally from benefiting from the privileges of life in the UK, the release added.

Starting in Croydon, the first identity cards will be issued to people making applications to remain in the UK as a student or based on marriage and will be followed by identity cards for British workers in sensitive roles and locations in 2009 and to young people in 2010.

The release continued that over the next three weeks enrolment identity card centres for foreign nationals will open in Cardiff, Glasgow, Northern Ireland, Sheffield, Solihull and Liverpool, and it's mandatory for foreign nationals.

"All new foreign nationals and those extending their stay will have a card within three years and it is estimated that by the end of 2014\15 about 90 per cent of all foreign nationals will have been issued with one," the release stated.

Under the Tier 2 companies must pass the Resident Labour Market test by proving that they cannot fill the post with a resident worker before they can bring in some from outside the EEA.

Employers will need to get a sponsors' licence to enable them to bring migrant workers into the country from outside the EEA.

Tier 5 covers those travelling temporally to the UK for primarily non-economic reasons, such as sports people, entertainers and charity workers.

Tiers 2 and 5 will sweep aside around 30 different routes to the UK, including the old work permit system. Tier 2 of the points system will ensure that British job-seekers get the first shot at jobs and only those foreign workers that the UK need will be welcomed.

Besides, employers who have registered with the UK Border Agency will be able to bring in migrant workers from outside Europe under the scheme.

Any employer who breaks the rules and employs foreign nationals who have no right to work in the UK will be fined.

Tier 1 of the points system, for highly skilled migrants, was introduced in February this year and Tier 4 which covers students will follow at the beginning of 2009. Tier 3, which covers low skilled routes will only be used if specific shortages are identified that cannot be filled from the UK's domestic or European labour force.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was quoted as saying:

"The Australian-style points system will ensure only those we need - and no more - can come here. It is also flexible, allowing us to raise or lower the bar according to the needs of business and taking population trends into account.

"In time identity cards for foreign nationals will replace paper documents and give employers a safe and secure way of checking a migrant's right to work and study in the UK," she said.