Australian visa overseas biometric checks to be introduced

Australian immigration will soon start implementation of biometric checks for Australian visa applications in ten Countries. $69 million Australian dollars will be invested over four years.

'The Australian Government had the following to say about the new Australian visa biometric requirements.

  • If you apply for an Australian visa in any of the ten Countries you will need to also submit your fingerprints and facial images This biometric data is unique to a particular individual and will enable the Australian Government to confirm the true identity of visa applicants.

  • Checks will be made in databases for known terrorists and criminals and other people of concern.

  • Australia shares biometric data with the United Kingdom and Canada. The United States and New Zealand will join the data-sharing arrangement this year.

  • The Australian Government is working closely with the UK Government, which already has experience in this area.

The 10 locations for the scheme have been selected on the basis of:

  • National security and fraud risks

  • Locations where the Australian Government can use British biometric collection centres

  • Broad geographic coverage of the scheme.

Australian immigration already collects data from those people in immigration detention and from protection visa applicants in Sydney and Melbourne. Australian immigration says that the use of biometrics will help in "keeping Australia's borders secure and maintaining the integrity of our migration program".