The card will cost £30 and will replace up to 50 paper documents.
Controversial plans for the roll-out of ID cards to UK foreign nationals have been unveiled with the first design of the UK ID card.
The card will consist of a picture, a chip holding the person’s name and date of birth, the person’s town and country of birth, gender, their fingerprint, their status in the UK and whether they have a right to work, and whether they have the right to UK state benefits,
The plan is to issue cards from 25th November 2008 to foreign nationals residing in the UK, who are outside the European economic area. Applicant fingerprints and photographs will be taken at six centres around the UK – Croydon, Sheffield, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow. The cards will be used to renew their permission to stay in the UK as students or for marriage. Next year people who work in airports and other high security work will be given them too.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith used the launch of the new card to defend the scheme which has been highly criticised as being costly, not needed and an attack on liberty. She said the aim of the cards will be to reduce indentity fraud, combat illegal working, crack down on use of multiple identities for organised crime and terrorism, and address problems related to those trying to abuse positions of trust to prove real identities.
The card will cost £30 and will replace up to 50 paper documents. Mrs Smith said “ID cards for foreign nationals will replace old fashioned paper documents; make it easier for employers and sponsors to check entitlement to work and study and for the UK border agency to verify someone’s identity.”
However, there are major concerns about the controversial multi-billion pound scheme and personal security fears, especially after the spate of government based data-loss blunders which have been highly publicised.
Shami Chakrabarti who is Liberty Director said, “If the card came with loyalty points, we still wouldn’t buy it. Picking on foreigners first is divisive politics; as costly to our race relations as our purses.”
There are plans to make the cards available to the remainder of UK citizens on a voluntary basis from 2010, targeting youngsters over 16 wishing to prove their age and identity. Then, from 2011/12, people in the UK will be able to apply for an ID card, passport or both for which the cost will be under £100. The card issued to UK citizens will differ in information compared to the card issued to foreign nationals.