First ID cards go to foreign nationals

The first round of the controversial biometric card and identity database has kicked off.

The first round of biometric identity cards at to be rolled out today, for foreigners living in the UK.

The cards will be given out to foreigners with visas such as for studying, working or marriage living in the country.

The Home Office said it expects as many as 60,000 of the controversial cards to be rolled out by the Borders Agency by March, mostly to students. It expects the majority of so-called foreign nationals to have the cards by 2015.

Starting next year, the Identity and Passport Service will begin giving out their version of the biometric ID cards to British citizens, starting with airside workers at two airports.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: "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."

Dominic Grieve, shadow home secretary for the Conservative party, said the system was pointless. "This is a gimmick but it's a gimmick with a price. While these 'ID cards' won't stop illegal immigration or terrorism, they will land the taxpayer with a multi-billion pound bill," he said. "At a time of economic hardship this is the last thing the taxpayer needs."

For those who disagree with the scheme, anti-ID card group NO2ID told IT PRO it plans to demonstrate against the cards at immigration centres today. In addition, the government recently launched a consultation on the cards.

Click here for a timeline of the cards' arrival in the UK.

Featured Resources

Shining light on new 'cool' cloud technologies and their drawbacks

IONOS Cloud Up! Summit, Cloud Technology Session with Russell Barley

Watch now

Build mobile and web apps faster

Three proven tips to accelerate modern app development

Free download

Reduce the carbon footprint of IT operations up to 88%

A carbon reduction opportunity

Free Download

Comparing serverless and server-based technologies

Determining the total cost of ownership

Free download

Most Popular

What should you really be asking about your remote access software?
Sponsored

What should you really be asking about your remote access software?

17 Nov 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

30 Nov 2021
How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD
Microsoft Windows

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD

24 Nov 2021