22 July 2015

Asked by Frank Field MP (Labour, Birkenhead)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of wider use of identity documentation to assist in the detection of illegal immigrants living in the UK.

Answered by James Brokenshire MP (Minister of State for Immigration, Conservative, Old Bexley & Sidcup)

By August 2015, all non-EEA nationals coming and staying in the UK for more than six months will need to apply for a secure biometric residence permit (BRP).

We have issued over 2 million cards since starting the roll out of BRPs in 2008. We will also issue biometric residence cards to non-EEA nationals who have applied for evidence of an entitlement to reside in the UK, under EU law, from 6 April 2015.

We are working across Government to examine how biometric documents could be used to simplify and strengthen the checks performed by employers and service providers to establish a migrant’s right to work and their eligibility to services.