Biometrics data introduced for Australian visa applicants
Australia, December 9: Australia is all set to introduce provision of biometrics information for all applicants for visa to the country. This is being done to strengthen the security of the country.
Initially, the move will be introduced in the cities of Melbourne and Sydney.
Speaking about the move, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Evans, said, “Establishing the identity of non-citizens is a fundamental part of both visa assessment and border processing. Better identity management and the use of biometrics are crucial to keeping Australia’s borders secure and maintaining the integrity of our migration program. “
Biometrics information is used widely in the international community as a useful tool not just to handle visa and immigration processes, but also to significantly improve identity management and curb frauds in the immigration, added Evans.
Recently, a few other countries, too, including UK and Canada made biometrics data compulsory for all visa applicants. The latest move by the Australian Government concerning the immigration rules for the country will now require a scan of their fingerprint and a digital facial image from all Australian visa applicants.
Senator Evans reiterated about the recent move saying, “This is part of Australia’s ongoing cooperation with other countries such as UK and Canada to strengthen international border and immigration management through the secure and confidential cross-checking of identity information.”
Meanwhile, the requirement of providing biometrics information is already there for all those sitting for the Australian citizenship test and immigration detainees including illegal foreign fishers.
The arrangement of data-sharing under the FCC (Five Countries Conference) processes gives provision to Australia to check fingerprint scans collected via protection visa process against the biometric data records of the US, UK and Canada.
For a period of first six months, the biometrics data initiative will be only for the applicants in Melbourne and Sydney and the government will take a decision whether to make it applicable throughout the nation as a compulsory requirement or not.
The aim of this move is to know whether an applicant has any record of having applied for seeking asylum in those countries or not and to help identify all bogus and criminal applicants.