The UK, like the USA, is starting to tighten up their immigration and visa policies for those entering the UK. For most students who want to study in the UK this will mean a few things:
1 – By April 2008, all students will need to submit biometric data with their application when they apply for their student visa. This data includes a scan of all our fingers plus a full face digital photograph. To get this done you will need to go to the nearest VAC or Visa Application Center who will gather this data, and should take no more than 5 minutes.
2 – Upon entering the UK, the British Government is currently undertaking a trial that will fingerprint and take a photograph of all those coming into the UK. The new trial is at the moment limited to those arriving from a few countries and is going on until 2008 – however it is expected that this will fully roll out after that for all those entering the UK.
If you are applying for a visa, or already have submitted a visa application it is most likely that you will not need to include biometric data – however for students from the USA who want to study in the UK the cut-off date for requiring biometric data is December 3rd 2007. So if you are a US Citizen wanting to study in the UK you are advised to get your application in before this date.
For all other students please check with your local British Embassy as they will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information. You can also visit the UK Visa Website for further information and advice.
There is also a good new snippet from Reuters that explains the new finger-print and picture regulations in a little more detail: