U.S., Canada, Israel consider Aadhaar for visa applications

Three countries – the U.S., Canada and Israel – have expressed interest in using Aadhaar-based applications to simplify the visa and immigration process.

Reported in the Hindustan Times, the UIDAI is currently in talks with a number of embassies looking to map out a deal.

“If Aadhaar helps streamline the visa process, it would be a great service to the applicants,” a senior UIDAI official is quoted to have said in the report.

Over the last couple of years, the Aadhaar program has been forging ahead with its quest to assign a unique 12-digit Aadhaar number to all of India’s residents. This major project has seen some success linking the Aadhaar number to subsidy programs as well as for government services, though there have been some problems and resistance to enrollment.

A student group in Northern India has recently come out and asked the government to suspend biometric enrollment and to stop the implementation of Aadhaar in Meghalaya.

This hasn’t been the first snag for the Aadhaar program and NPR enrollment.

Confirming the worst fears of those already untrusting of national biometric systems, the Maharashtra government lost the biometric data of about 300,000 Aadhaar applicants as it was being uploaded by the state information technology department. 

In addition, several banks in India have vocally come out against a platform created by the UIDAI, which would see Aadhaar numbers used to authenticate ID before every transaction regarding bank accounts receiving welfare benefits. According to reports, resistance is rooted in two main concerns: Banks want the UIDAI to bear liabilities related to false identification and the UIDAI wants banks to reconfigure existing systems to its interoperable solution.

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