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Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002

Section 126 : Physical data: compulsory provision

326.This section supplements the current power to fingerprint and gather data from persons subject to immigration control, which is contained in sections 141 to 146 of the 1999 Act. Subsections (1) and (2) enable the Secretary of State to provide by regulations that a person who makes an application for a visa or entry clearance, or for leave to enter or remain (including variation of such leave) will be required to provide data specified in the regulations when making such an application, or to provide on demand such information to an "authorised person", who is enabled by the regulations to collect such data (for example, an entry clearance officer or immigration officer). The data that may be required extends to external physical characteristics, including features of the iris and any other part of the eye. By virtue of subsection (3), the power does not extend to those persons to whom section 141 of the 1999 Act contemporaneously applies. These persons continue to be covered by sections 141 to 146 of that Act.

327.Subsections (4) to (8) make further provision about the content of the regulations. In particular, regulations may specify the form in which “data” should be provided and the means by which data may be obtained. They may also require persons authorised by the regulations to require the provision of data to have regard to any specified code of practice, or provisions thereof, that is in force under specified Police and Criminal Evidence legislation. The regulations may make provision for the use and retention of information provided, which may permit the use of information for specified non-immigration purposes. The regulations may also specify the consequences of an applicant failing to provide the requisite data, which may include the application in question being treated as invalid or refused. Additionally the requirements of the regulations can be specified to apply to certain cases or circumstances or to apply to all applications generally. There is no power to arrest persons who refuse to provide the data or to use reasonable force as remains the case for those covered by sections 141 to 146 of the 1999 Act. Regulations must provide for the destruction of data some 10 years from the date of recording of that data (unless another date is specified in the regulations for this purpose) and ensure that proper safeguards are in place when collecting data from those under the age of 16.

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