At the end of the month, UK work permit and visa applicants will need to double check to see if they are required to provide their biometric details.
From February 29th the government is expanding the use of the permits so that all applicants in the UK will need to obtain a biometric residence permit if they intend to apply to stay in the country for more than six months.
Even those looking for 'indefinite leave to remain' on a settlement basis will need to get hold of the permits by providing their fingerprints and facial image.
In practice, the changes mean that anybody applying for the immigration documents on or after this date will need do double check which application form they are using and ensure that they provide the necessary data.
The government has introduced a number of adaptations to the UK immigration system of late in a bid to crackdown on immigration scams. These include improving systems for catching immigrants working without the required visa or work permit documents and increasing surveillance when it comes to marriage visa shams.
On a more controversial note, the coalition is also looking to change the demographic of people who are able to immigrate to the UK. Higher salary requirements, limited work permits for lower-skilled jobs and tougher regulations for overseas students are among the changes being made.
UK immigration minister Damian Green commented: “With the introduction of the Graduate Entrepreneur route and the restrictions on student work, we are reforming the system to deliver immigration to benefit Britain.”