The government decided last month that the paper residence permits currently issued to some foreigners are to be replaced by forgery-proof cards the size of a credit card. Chips will not be included on the new cards.
The required legal changes will be complete by 1 April 2019.
The card will contain the permit holder’s photo and signature. A plan to add a chip containing biometric information, such as facial image and digital fingerprint data, was rejected because those affected by the change have other ID, usually a passport, which works for travel.
Citizens from EU and EFTA countries with L, B and C permits and those with G, Ci, N, F and S permits will be progressively issued with the new permits. All those renewing their permits between 1 July 2019 and 31 December 2019 will receive one in the new format. From 1 January 2021 all permits issued will be the new credit card-sized ones.
Permits with biometric data issued to foreign residents from outside the EU and EFTA will not be affected by the changes. Citizens of these countries have been issued with credit card sized biometric permits since 12 December 2008.