Biometric enrolment – new requirements

According to the current Immigration Rules, applicants, who are applying for permission to remain in the UK, are required to enrol their biometric (fingerprints and facial image) at the Public Enquiry Office (PEO) when using the same day processing service or at the Post Office.

On 6 April 2015 the Home Office, will also introduce biometric enrolment for non-EEA nationals applying for a residence card, derivative residence card or permanent residence card and applicants registering or naturalising as a British Citizen.

The Home Office believes that the changes might help to tighten up checks for those migrants, who wish to apply for leave to remain in the UK and verify identities of the migrants to confirm their immigration status in the UK.

As the application for registration/naturalisation as a British Citizen and application under the European Regulations 2006 can only be submitted by post, the applicants will be required to attend a post office to have their biometrics taken. Applicants, who will submit their applications from overseas, will be required to enrol their biometrics at a Visa Application Centre.

Once the application is approved, an applicant will receive a residence card in the new biometric format. Fingerprint information will normally be retained for up to 10 years. However, once one becomes a British Citizen, his/her biometric information will be deleted. The photographs, however, will be retained until an applicant obtains his/her British passport.