Online biometric checks

Posted: 13th December 2011

The Government has announced plans to make it easier for businesses to carry out checks to determine whether or not foreign nationals have the right to work in the UK.
From Spring 2012, employers will be able check online that the details contained on a foreign employee’s biometric residence permit (BRP) are correct. BRPs hold a person’s fingerprints and photograph on a secure chip and are issued to non-European Economic Area nationals with permission to remain in the UK for more than 6 months.
The chips are replacing the wide range of documents currently used to check the identity of a person subject to immigration control and to demonstrate that they are entitled to work in the UK.
In addition, 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.
Since November 2008, approximately 600,000 BRPs have been issued. From 2012, their use will extend to all those applying from inside the UK to remain here for more than 6 months.
Guidance for employers on preventing illegal working can be found here.