The Register reports:
The government is to double the number of people required to have a biometric residence permit (BRP) to stay in the UK, raising the number to 400,000 a year.
The system is being expanded to include refugees and those given the right to live in the UK permanently. It will mean that all non-EEA (European Economic Area) nationals applying to remain in the UK for more than six months will now need the compulsory permits.
BRPs hold a person’s fingerprints and photograph on a secure chip, and can be used to confirm information on each individual’s work and benefits entitlements. From June, an online Employers’ Checking Service for BRPs will enable employers, and later in the year public authorities, to run real-time checks on whether individuals are eligible to work or access services in the UK.
Most of the 650,000 BRPs issued since their introduction in 2008 have gone to workers or students from outside the EEA wanting to stay in the UK for more than six months.