From today, identity cards for foreign nationals are being rolled out to another category of migrant: skilled workers and their dependants.
If a migrant in one of these categories applies to extend their stay in the UK, they must enrol their biometrics (fingerprints and facial image) before the UK Border Agency decide whether to give permission to stay. If the application is successful, they will be given an identity card.
The card provides a simple way of confirming the holder's nationality, identity and immigration status in the UK. It shows whether they have the right to work or study legitimately under the UK's points-based system for immigration, and helps them to access public services.
The changes do not affect the settled population, foreign nationals who are seeking to settle here, or applicants in other immigration categories (who continue to receive a vignette in their passport when they extend their stay).