Immigration New Zealand trials biometric checks
New Zealand, 19th October: The New Zealand immigration department has begun biometric information checks on a trial basis to know the identity of those coming to New Zealand.
The face scan and fingerprint technology program will check all first time visitors and applicants for New Zealand visa soon.
The new biometric technology will take a photograph of the individual making application for a New Zealand visa and compare his photo for verifying the individual’s identity at the entry point to the nation.
The new biometric technology program is likely to cost around $60 million for the New Zealand immigration department and will be incorporated in the immigration management system of New Zealand.
Meanwhile, the cost of the program or the amount which the New Zealand immigration department will pay to Daon for this test-drive program will not be revealed by the INZ(Immigration New Zealand) as it was considered to be commercially sensitive.
According to Niger Bickle, head of New Zealand immigration department, the department was working with Daon, an Australian biometric firm, for evaluation of the use of this new technology for capturing biometrics information during the stage of New Zealand visa application and then again at the New Zealand border to find out whether it would speed up the processing time or not.
Initially, this test-drive for face scan and fingerprint program will be for a period of 10 months only and any final decision to purchase biometric technology will be done by the New Zealand immigration department after a minimum period of one year, added Bickle.
The new adopted biometrics technology will ensure all safeguards in compliance with the privacy rules of New Zealand, informed Bickle.
He added that under the Immigration Act, the New Zealand immigration department has the jurisdiction to collect biometrics information from those traveling to New Zealand for the first time without visas in order to check their identity.
Immigration New Zealand maintained that the evaluations are only for a short period of trial and will not be deployed operationally. It further maintained that the new biometrics technology test-drive is separate from IGMS (Immigration Global Management System) and AMS (Application Management System). Once approved, the IGMS will offer facilities of future operational identity management for Immigration New Zealand.