Biometric unit opens at Post Office
New face-recognising equipment at the Post Office will be used to record the identity of foreign nationals in the city.
The Post Office downstairs in WHSmith, in Gallowtree Gate, Leicester, unveiled its new "biometric unit" yesterday.
Officials demonstrated how the equipment can read fingerprints and analyse faces of people applying for a Biometric Residence Permit, which were first launched in 2008.
In the past, people in Leicester had to travel to Nottingham to get a permit.
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The permits are identity cards for migrants from outside Europe who are living in the UK on short-term visas, and they can be used to prove their entitlement to work and receive other services.
So far, more than 100 Post Offices have the biometric units to create the permits.
The launch yesterday was attended by Rob Whiteman, the UK Border Agency chief executive, Martin Moran, the Post Office's commercial director, and local MPs.
Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East, who has been campaigning for Leicester to have its own machine, said: "I am delighted the biometric facility has finally opened.
"This is the conclusion of our long campaign that has even seen this issue raised in the Houses of Parliament.
"The biometric facility will offer a vital service to residents wishing to apply for leave to remain in the UK."