Australia to introduce offshore biometrics collection for visa applicants in Cambodia
Australia will introduce a new biometric visa application for applicants coming from Cambodia, effective December 17, 2012.
Part of the Australian Government’s border management initiative, visa applicants in Cambodia will need to lodge their applications in person and provide their biometrics at the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh.
According to the Australian government, biometrics collected will include a 10-digit fingerprint scan and a digital facial image. From the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship website: “Facial images and fingerprint scans will be kept in secure departmental databases. Only authorized officers under the Migration Act 1958 , as regulated by the Privacy Act 1988, may access the biometrics of applicants.
Under the Migration Act, the department is allowed to provide the fingerprints and photographs of applicants to certain Australian Government departments and agencies in addition to international organizations and countries for a permitted purpose. This includes for the purpose of verifying identity, checking whether a client has effective protection in another country, combating identity fraud or determining if the client has a criminal history.”
These new rules apply to all visa applicants in Cambodia who are over 18 years old. Australia’s offshore biometric collection program has been implemented in many countries and more will be progressively announced.
In a recent BiometricUpdate.com Biometric Research Note, it notes that governments are under increasing pressure to identify individuals and secure their borders, but that systematic process is needed to implement eID and biometric identity programs.