New UK immigration arrangements spark concern for identity safety
Thursday, 03 January 2008
As the British Government continues to tighten the reins on immigration, there is growing concern among some Jamaicans about the safety of their identity and that of their loved ones who may be visiting the UK.
The concerns follow news that the government has started collecting bio-metric data on tourists as they arrive.
RJR News understands that high-tech company VSS Global had been mandated to obtain biometric data on overseas employees of British companies and people with resident UK family who recquire fixed term visas.
At least one organization has come out in condemnation of this development. Globalvisas.com believes the employment of VSS Global is worrying in light of the government's recent loss of identity data belonging to thousands of Britons.
The move to collect biometric data from people who want to enter the UK is part of the Gordon Brown Administration's drive to implement ID cards.
Global Visas's representative Liam Clifford says the idea of giving a private overseas company biometric data is causing many UK companies, family members and ordinary people great concern.
He is worried that it could cost loss, theft or human or digital error to occur.
VSS Global provides visa services for the UK, USA, Australia and several other countries all in one building in Delhi.
It is believed that this raises the risk of security irregularity.
What is evident is that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Jamaicans and other visitors to travel to the UK hassle free.
There has been a string of obstacles implemented in the last few years ranging from visa restriction to increases in visitors and student visas.
Last month the British government announced proposals for the six month visa to be reduced to three months and to have sponsors to pay a one thousand deposit prior to the arrival of their visitors to ensure their return.