Yesterday, the UK Immigration Minister Damian Green announced a new system designed to make it easier for companies to check whether foreign nationals they wish to employ can legally work in the UK.
From spring 2012, employers will be able to access an online system to verify that the details contained on a foreign employee’s biometric residence permit (BRP) are correct.
Damian Green said:
‘It is vital that we work with employers to give them the tools they need to meet their obligations. Our new online checking service will also turn up the pressure on those who wish to live and work here illegally.”
It was also announced that from 29 February 2012 BRPs will be issued to more categories of foreign nationals, including refugees and those granted permission to settle in the UK.
- BRPs, which hold a person’s fingerprints and photograph on a secure chip, are issued to non-EEA nationals with permission to remain in the UK for more than 6 months.
- They will simplify the process of checking an individual’s right to work by replacing the wide range of documents which currently have to be checked through by employers.
- The new online checking service for employers will enable quick and easy real-time checks on permits and their holder’s identity and right to work in the UK.
- Around 600,000 BRPs have been issued since November 2008. From next year they will cover all those applying from inside the UK to remain here for more than 6 months.
To meet increased demand and provide foreign nationals with more locations around the UK where fingerprints and photographs can be taken, the immigration minister has today announced that a contract for the collection of this information has been awarded to the Post Office Ltd.
The contract will run for 4 years and Post Office Ltd will offer a network of around 100 locations from spring 2012.