New ID card for foreign nationals being introduced from the 25 November 2008.

New ID card for foreign nationals being introduced from the 25 November 2008.

Documentary evidence of identity (ID) – new ID card for foreign nationals being introduced from the 25 November 2008.
The Money Laundering Regulations require relevant businesses to carry out Customer Due Diligence on their customers. This may involve asking for documentary evidence of a customer’s identity. The UK Borders Agency has announced a new ID card for foreign nationals which will begin a roll out programme starting on the 25 November 2008.

It is important that you are aware of this new ID card, its significance as documentary evidence of ID, the information it contains and how you can recognise it as a genuine document.

The card will be issued to migrants from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) applying for leave to remain in the UK. Initially they will only be issued to migrants in the category of a student or on the basis of marriage or partnership from the 25 November 2008 though it will be rolled out to other categories of migrants in the future.

Over time, the card will replace vignettes (stickers) and stamps in passports and will act as a standalone grant of leave to stay in the UK, but is not a travel document and therefore holders who wish to travel abroad must still have a valid passport.

The card can be accepted as a form of identification though there is no requirement that holders of the card must carry their ID card on them at all times. The card will contain the following information relevant to the holder:
• digital image of the holder
• name
• valid until date
• place and date of issue
• type of permit – the immigration category of the holder
• immigration entitlements for the length of the holders stay
• unique card number
• signature
• microchip that contains the biometric features of the holder (a facial image and two fingerprints)
• gender
• date and place of birth
• nationality

Although the card can be used as a form of identification, it is important in these circumstances to be aware of the security features of the card.

Some of the features are that:
• the card number is unique and consists of two letters followed by seven numbers
• the back of the card has a raised design and has an image incorporating from left to right a shamrock, daffodil, thistle and rose which can be seen by shining a light across the card
• as you tilt the card, various designs can be seen showing distinctive colour changes and large amounts of fine detail

You can get further advice or assistance on verifying the cards security features by telephoning the UK Border Agency card verification helpline on 0300 123 4699 or you can view images of the card by visiting the UKBA website.

Visit the BTC website for compliance help and support for firms in the regulated sector.