31 January 2011

Biometrics program expanded for Australia visa applications

The Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, has announced the introduction of biometrics collection for Australian Visas processed in Sri Lanka.

Australia immigration

The Australia Immigration department is rolling out further biometric requirements for Australia Visa applications.

In December Last year, the Australian Government commenced the first stage of its biometric collection program by introducing the requirement at Australia Visa applications processed at ten Department of Immigration and Citizenship offices across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Mr Bowen said from 8 February this year, anyone lodging paper-based Australia visa applications in Sri Lanka will need to provide a digital facial photograph and a scan of their fingerprints at the Australian Visa Application Centre in Colombo as part of the visa application process.

Applications from countries including Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have included biometrics collection since the December announcement.

“Biometric data is widely used in the international community as an effective tool to manage visa and immigration processes, improve identity management and combat fraud,” Mr Bowen said.

“Better identity management and the use of biometrics are crucial to keeping Australia's borders secure and maintaining the integrity of our visa and migration programs.

“Additional countries in Europe and Asia will be included in the program over the coming months.”

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australia Visa application with Australian Embassy. 

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