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Online assessments and biometrics used in new immigration system

Antony Savvas

The government plans to capture biometric data and conduct online assessments of migrant workers as part of its updated immigration system announced this week.

The points-based immigration system will incorporate an online self-assessment site, the government said.

Visa and work permit applicants will be expected to complete self-assessment tests on-line “wherever possible” before contacting immigration officials, although the online self-assessment would only cover the initial stages of an application.

Basic questions will be asked, such as the purpose of a visit to the UK, the planned length of stay, qualifications held and work experience already gained.

Lower-skilled people from outside the EU will have less chance of entering the country to work, said the government.

Biometric identifiers will also be introduced at various stages. Workers coming to the UK from outside the EU could have biometric data collected in order to identify them and help ensure they leave at the end of their agreed stay.

Soon, those applying for visas will have to submit biometric proofs, while those taking up residence to the UK will be issued with a biometric residence permit.

The planned migration system will also allow employers to carry out periodic checks after recruitment.

The new scheme is expected to be operaional by the second half of 2007.

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