24 March 2011

Australia Visa biometrics rolled out to more countries

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, has announced the introduction of biometrics collection for visa applicants in Syria, Malaysia, Lebanon, Kenya, Jordan and France.

Australia immigration

Biometric collection for Australia Visa applicants have been extended to new countries.

Biometrics collection for Australia visa applicants will commence in Syria and Malaysia in April, and in Kenya, Jordan, Lebanon and France throughout May.

Visa applicants in these countries who submit paper application forms will need to provide a digital facial photograph and fingerprint scans at visa application centres – located in Damascus, Kuala Lumpur, Beirut, Nairobi, Amman and Paris – as part of the visa process.

People who apply online and are eligible for an electronic visa will not need to provide their biometrics at this stage.

Biometrics are already being collected in Bahrain, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Zimbabwe. More than 8000 overseas Australia Immigration applicants have had their biometrics collected since the commencement of the program in December 2010.

“This delivers on the government’s commitment to introduce the new technology into visa processing,” Mr Bowen said.

“Australia is working closely with like-minded governments and international organisations to better manage identity, migration and border security processes. Collecting biometrics further strengthens Australia’s border security and identity checking processes and will assist my department to verify the identity of visa applicants in any future visa encounters.”

Biometrics is collected using a quick, discreet and non-intrusive process, providing data that are widely used in the international community as an effective tool to manage visa and immigration processes, improve identity management and combat fraud.

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

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