May 18, 2012 -
The Government of India recently launched a pilot program that is aimed at capturing biometric data for visa applicants. The new system is part of the Immigration, Visa, Foreigner’s Registration and Tracking (IVRFT) project. The project was originally launched in the U.K, and Bangladesh but soon the Indian Government will widen the scope of the project.
Currently, there are more than eight million visa applications processed annually and the government would like to have biometric data collected before its visa approval takes place. India would also like to have these systems in place at their various embassies worldwide. The goal is to have a close monitoring and identification process of incoming visitors to the country.
Outsourcing agencies, which are already lending their services to the Indian high commissions, both in the U.K. and Bangladesh, will be tapped to gather the fingerprinting and digital imaging of visa applicants before the approval of their visa. There are now several pilot projects in place to determine the cost, capacity, and the problems that are bound to arise with the new system.
After the system is tested, it will be launched in all Indian embassies that process visa applications.
Do you think the use of biometrics for visa applications will speed processing and increase India’s national security?