London: Indian citizens with permission to settle in the UK permanently will need to apply for a biometric residence permit (BRP) as part of changes in immigration rules intended to make it harder for non-European Union (EU) nationals to work illegally and abuse the benefit system.
Many Indian citizens who migrated to the UK years ago and gained the right to settle here permanently did not opt for UK citizenship and retained their Indian citizenship.
Such individuals will be covered in the latest changes announced today.
A BRP is a card which holds an immigrant`s biographic details (name, date and place of birth); and `biometric information` (fingerprints and facial image).
It also shows immigration status and entitlements while in the UK.
Most categories of immigrants are required to apply and obtain BRPs.
Immigration Minister Damian Green has now extended the requirement to include refugees and those with right to live in the UK permanently (called `indefinite leave to remain`).
The widening of BRP requirements to almost all categories of immigrants is intended to tackle immigration abuse by proving a person`s right to work or access services in the UK, official sources said, adding that the number of foreign nationals issued with a BRP will double to 400,000 a year.
Since the BRP holds a person`s fingerprints and photograph on a secure chip, it enables a "simple and quick check" about an immigrant`s work and benefits entitlements.
There have been several instances of immigrants who do not have the right to work in the UK being arrested.