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UK Biometric Residence Permits system will be compulsory for 400,000 migrants a year | Immigration Matters

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The UK government is to expand its system of Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) in a fresh effort to tackle immigration abuse and illegal working, the Scotsman reports.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said the new powers would mean that the number of foreign nationals issued with compulsory BRPs, which are designed to verify a person’s right to be in the country, will double to 400,000 a year.

The system will be widened to include refugees and those given the right to live here permanently so that that all non-EEA nationals applying to remain in the UK for more than six months will now be covered by compulsory BRPs.

The permits hold fingerprints and photograph on a secure chip, enabling the checking of an individual’s work and benefits entitlements.

Employers will be able to access an online Employers Checking Service (ECS) for BRPs from June.

Mr Green said: “This will help ensure only those with the right to be here can take a job legally in the UK and enjoy the services to which they are entitled.”

The Post Office Ltd will assist the expansion through a nationwide network of biometric enrolment sites – 17 sites already enable foreign nationals to have fingerprints and photographs taken, with an 87 additional post offices due to offer the service by mid-April. Source: The Scotsman.

The system should make it easier for employers, who risk fines of up to £10,000 for illegally employing a migrant, to check a persons right to work in the UK.

At present there is still confusion over the rights of foreign students, some of whom can work 20 hours per week and some who cannot work at all, dependants of students and Romanians and Bulgarians.

Employers and even advisers at Job Centres and help lines are not always clear about whether or not Bulgarian and Romanian nationals can work in the UK and what documents are required.

Despite the fact that they are EU members, when it comes to employment Bulgarian and Romanian citizens do not have the same rights as other Europeans, for instance from Poland, Slovakia or other A8 Accession countries.

Many care industry and catering businesses would like to recruit Romanian, Bulgarian and other European workers, as the Government’s cap on migration, combined with newly imposed restrictions on Tier 2 and Tier 4 routes, has made it increasing difficult to recruit non-EU staff (on work permits and student visas).

The UK Immigration Minister recently announced that work restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals have been extended until 2014. 

See also:

Yellow or Blue Card Refused – Appeal or Reapply?

McDonald’s reopens after UK Border Agency raid

UK’s Tier 2 immigration rules could see EU chefs cooking your Indian curry

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

7 tips for completing a Yellow Card BR1 application to work and study in the UK

Health care workers needed in UK now

Employment restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians extended until end of 2013

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.

For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email 

Overseas students and workers can qualify for a tax refund

You could qualify for a tax refund if you are an overseas student, work permit holder, Tier 1, Yellow or Blue Card holder – in fact any visa type – even if you are no longer legal or even in the UK!

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