Australia to spend $69 million on new tougher biometric visa checks
Canberra, Australia, February 25: Australian immigration department has affirmed it will introduce tougher biometric visa checks for
Australian visa applicants as part of the new rules.
For this, the Australian Government will be making investments worth $69 billion spread over the period of next four years.
These biometric checks will be meant for Australian visa applicants belonging to any of the 10 high-risk designated countries by the
Australian government to help strengthen border security of Australia.
Facial images and fingerprints mandatory for visa applicants from 10 high-risk nations--Hence, applicants from such countries applying for an Australian visa will have to provide their facial images along with fingerprints submissions at the visa application center in their respective country. The move will help combat permanent and persistent threat of terrorist activities to Australia by Islamist militants.
Although, the counterterrorism report did not mention the names of the nations required to provide facial images and fingerprint submissions as part the of new visa rules. But, repeated mention was made to countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen.
Also, it was not yet clear whether or not Indonesia falls under the list of 10 high-risk designated nations by the Australian Government under the new immigration rules. The Australian foreign minister Stephen Smith said the countries will not be identified until the roll-out takes place.
It may be mentioned that nearly 110 Australian citizens were killed since 2001 in overseas terrorist attacks in Indonesia.
Better Security to Combat Terrorism Threats—The counterterrorism report said Canberra will have a counterterrorism control center to initiate improved coordination among different international and domestic intelligence agencies, will increase airport security and will invest $69 million (Australian dollars) over four years time for implementing tougher biometric visa checks by immigration officials for high-risk countries.
Australia is increasingly threatened by homegrown terrorists and an attack could take place at any point of time, warned Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, adding that the main threat is from those having associations with groups such as al-Qaeda. And the risk of Australia being on the target of terrorism threats has been after the rise of jihadist terrorism.