10 November 2010

Biometrics to be extended to new Australian Visa categories

The Australian Immigration Department has confirmed that biometrics requirements will be extended to include most types of offshore visa applications, including student visas.

Australian Visa

Biometics will be rolled out for more Australian Visa categories very soon.

The biometric screening process has been described by the Immigration Department as a discreet, non-intrusive examination that captures a digital facial image and 10-digit fingerprint scan.

The first stage of the trial will be applied at two locations, and then will be extended to missions across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East in line with procedures already operating in Britain, the US, Japan and parts of the Middle East.

Those applying for an Australian Visa to attend English-language schools, vocational education, higher education, postgraduate research as well as AusAID visas will be among those subjected to biometric scanning.

The move to increase biometrics follows a confidential risk assessment of Australia's student visa program last year that raised concerns about identity fraud in higher and vocational education visas.

Biometric data collection will begin at selected locations in the next seven weeks; these will be announced as they are rolled out.

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

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