UK Immigration and Citizenship launch biometric identity verification app to speed up applications
UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) has been working with UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) to develop a new biometric identify verification (IDV) application that allows users to register facial images and travel documents.
“In some cases, UKVI is allowing biometrics (fingerprints and photographs) to be reused, if they have already been recorded in a previous application. UKVI and UKVCAS have been working together to create a way of submitting facial images using a new Identity Verification (IDV) app,” the legal practice Herrington Carmichael notes.
The initiative comes as response to COVID-19, as the institutions hope to optimize and speed up application processing by reusing biometrics. As a result, in-person biometrics appointments would no longer be necessary. Before COVID-19, an appointment would cost roughly £110 (US$146).
“The IDV app lets customers that are eligible for UKVI’s biometric reuse policy (fingerprints and photographs that have been recorded in a previous application) to submit their application information to UKVI without having to book an appointment at UKVCAS,” UKVCAS announced.
The app was approved mid-August 2020 and deployment started on August 17. The institution is contacting users by email, who can use the app in two stages, depending on registration date. The goal is to process some 4,000 applications on a daily basis.
The application service is provided by Sopra Steria, which provides a detailed FAQ here. Sopra Steria was also awarded a contract to deliver the EU Entry/Exit System’s new shared biometric matching service, as part of a consortium with Idemia.