ID card project moves into next phase ahead of schedule

The Home Office is speeding up the rollout of ID cards to foreign nationals.

The Home Office is speeding up the rollout of ID cards to foreign nationals.

Skilled migrants renewing their visas to stay in Britain in the New Year will be issued with ID cards. This is three months ahead of schedule, which originally stated this would start in April 2010.

The next phase of the project will see around 30,000 foreign nationals a year receiving cards, in addition to those who already need to get them.

So far 90,000 cards have been issued, mainly to students and those renewing marriage visas.

From October the UK Border Agency will trial fingerprint technology at Post Offices, providing, the Home Office said, "alternative and more accessible venues where they can enrol their fingerprints".

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said, "By speeding up the roll out of the cards more people will benefit from a secure and simple way to prove they are entitled to live, work or study here.

He added the partnership with the Post Office will provide extra capacity enabling the UK Border Agency to further speed up the enrolment process.

ID cards for foreign nationals coming to the UK have been issued since November 2008.

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