09 September 2008

Second generation EU ePassports being tested in Prague

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During this week, member states of the European Union will meet in Prague to test the second generation of ePassports. The updated technology of the ePassport is a response to allegations that ePassports were vulnerable to fraudulence.

Electronic passports have been introduced to prevent the use of a criminal using a forged or modified passport to cross borders, or impersonating an identity on a genuine passport.

The original ePassports contain only a chip containing simple biometric data of international travellers including a photograph and identity information.  The new ePassports will contain more complex biometric data such as a fingerprint or iris scan. 

"The second generation of ePassports is a cut above the first and will help European governments and citizens to have even greater confidence in the security and privacy of their ePassports," said Dr. Tim Moses, Director of Advanced Security at Entrust.  "Interoperability holds the key to ensuring the successful introduction of second generation ePassports throughout Europe – which makes the Prague Tests a critical step in the effort to ensure safe borders."

Citizens in EU countries are free to work and live throughout the EU.  All other nationals wishing to move to the UK need to apply for a Tier 1 (General) Skilled Migration program or a Work Permit to work for a British employer.  For Commonwealth nationals, the UK provides extra options to work in the UK, including a UK Working Holiday Visa and Ancestry Visa.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.

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