04 April 2011

New Zealand Immigration tightens border security

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In an agreement designed to increase information sharing between the two countries, the New Zealand government has made an agreement with five countries resulting from a 'Five Country Conference' (FCC) that will step up border security. Information will be shared with Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

New Zealand immigration

The New Zealand government has made an agreement with five countries that will step up border security

Jonathan Coleman, the New Zealand Immigration Minister, confirmed that information of a biometric nature such as iris scans and finger prints will be used to confirm the identity of travellers arriving at the border where officials are uncertain as to the authenticity of documents. He said "The ability to check biometric data with international partners will help INZ [Immigration New Zealand] identify people using false identities”.

The move follows a steep rise in fraud and identity theft at the country’s borders, and officials hope both organised crime groups as well as illegal migrants will be targeted. The agreement also allows for information on asylum claims and illegal migrants to be accessed from all four countries where people provide no identification.

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in Canada, Jason Kenney, said “This initiative will help Canadian and New Zealand immigration authorities work together to identify immigration fraud and previous deportees who are trying to re-enter our respective countries without permission.” He added that fingerprints of citizens of the five countries will not be shared and that the arrangements conform with the Privacy Acts of the member countries.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with New Zealand visa applications.

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