The UK Border Agency has announced that individuals applying to stay in the UK under Tiers 1 and 5 of the Points Based system will need to provide their biometric details as part of the application process from 14 December 2010.

This includes those applying under the Entrepreneur, Investor and Post Study Work categories of Tier 1, as well as under Tier 1 (General) and applies as much to those switching into these categories from other immigration categories as extending their current stay within the same category. Tier 1 is the highly-skilled worker tier of the points-based system. Tier 5 is the temporary workers tier and includes the Youth Mobility Scheme.

Any applications under Tiers 1 and 5 submitted from 14 December 2010 will only be processed once the applicant has attended either a designated Post Office or one of the UK Border Agency's regional offices to have their fingerprints and a digital photo of their face taken. Dependants must also provide their biometric details. When their applications are approved, individuals will receive a biometric ID card instead of an updated paper residence permit in their passport.

The new application procedure mirrors that introduced already for Tier 2 applicants and applies to those applications submitted both by post and in person using the premium service.