18 October 2010

Trial biometric scans to commence for New Zealand Visa applicants

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A test biometric program to confirm the identity of New Zealand Visa applicants and first time travellers to the country will commence shortly, Immigration New Zealand has said.

The New Zealand Immigration department plans to incorporate biometric technology in its new immigration management system that is expected to cost more than $60 million.

Head of Immigration Nigel Bickle said it was working with Australian biometric firm Daon to evaluate whether the use of technology to capture biometric data at the visa application stage and again at the border would speed up passenger processing.

The trail will last 10-months and any decision to buy biometric systems would not be made for at least 12 months, he said.

"Any technologies adopted will have substantial privacy safe-guards, in accordance with New Zealand privacy laws."
The Immigration Act 2009, which will come into effect in November, allows the department to collect biometric data to verify identities and prevent immigration and visa fraud. 

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand Visa applications to the New Zealand Embassy


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