Biometric residence cards to be issued


In 2008 issuance of biometric cards replaced the old style visa vignette.

The biometric card with personal biometric data (fingerprints and digital photo) have been issued to everyone, under any category applying and being issued a visa from within the UK.

As of 2015, anyone applying from outside of the UK to enter for stays over six months in length will also be issued with a biometric residence card, otherwise also known and referred to as Biometric Immigration Document (BID).

The aim of the scheme is great security of UK borders, and prevention of access to the labour market and public services. The new scheme will also impose a number of new regulations and compliance obligations to foreign nationals and visitors. These include that foreign nationals must:

  • Apply for the biometric document when required;
  • Ensure the Home Office is kept informed of any changes to their circumstances;
  • Collect their biometric document in person from a specified UK Post Office within a specified number of days of arrival within the UK
If biometric residence cards will be required to be picked up on arrival to the UK, it still remains to be seen what the Home Office proposes to issue foreign nationals to present officials at a border crossing point before entering the country, in order to demonstrate their lawful ability to do so. This and stricter regulations on foreign nationals visiting the UK, as ever, leave unanswered questions  and room for concerns over the practicality of the scheme.


Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

About DavidsonMorris

As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility.

Led by Anne Morris, one of the UK’s preeminent immigration lawyers, and with rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, we’re a multi-disciplinary team helping organisations to meet their people objectives, while reducing legal risk and nurturing workforce relations.

Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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