Sky News 
Tuesday, Nov 25, 2008
The UK has taken the first significant step down the road towards rolling out a controversial new national ID card system.
Foreign students applying to study in Britain and those entering on marriage visas will now have to obtain a biometric identity card.
The Home Office expects 50,000 to 60,000 students will be affected in the first phase between now and March.
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Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the scheme would demonstrate “our commitment to preventing immigration abuse and protecting the prosperity of the UK”.
She added: “In time identity cards for foreign nationals will replace paper documents and give employers a safe and secure way of checking a migrant’s right to work and study in the UK.”
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
However, the move has been criticised by opponents of a national identity card scheme.