EC urges Ireland to implement biometrics in residence permits for third country nationals

The European Commission is urging the Irish government to fulfil its obligation to implement biometric identifiers in the residence permits for third country nationals.

The request comes more than three years after the May 20, 2012 deadline set by EU law, which Ireland has yet to fufill.

The reasoned opinion is included as part of the EU’s 115 key decisions as laid out in its September infringements package.

The EU has requested Ireland to ensure that biometric identifiers — including facial image and two fingerprints — are included in the residence permits issued to third country nationals as established in Regulation (EC) 1030/2002 for a uniform format for residence permits for third-country nationals.

“The harmonization of security features and the integration of biometric identifiers is an important step towards more secure documents and better protection against fraud,” writes the EU in its reasoned opinion. “The EU, therefore, requests the Irish authorities to implement the biometric identifiers in the residence permit for third country nationals.”

The Irish government has been given two months to take the necessary measures to comply with the EU’s requests.

If they fail to follow through with the request, the EU will have to decide on whether to refer Ireland to the Court of Justice of the EU.

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