Biometric verification deployed for overseas Pakistanis
The National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) in Pakistan has launched online ID verification that enables a consular officer to verify the identity of citizens living abroad for power-of-attorney (POA) needs.
Unveiled in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the service was piloted in 2021 and reportedly received positive responses from overseas Pakistanis.
It will enable citizens living abroad (more than 9 million, according to NADRA) to upload scanned documents and pictures and also to undergo verification through the registration authority’s Pak-ID online biometric verification services.
To complete the process, applicants and two witnesses upload their paper-based data, which is verified through the national database in real time, according to the government.
NADRA says the new service is part of an infrastructure that includes a video interview module through which consular officers at missions interview applicants and witnesses and notarize their consent to execute their power of attorney.
According to NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik, the new system will allow people (particularly those living far from an embassy or consulate) to exercise their right to give representative authority digitally with certainty about their identity physically and virtually.
Malik says 116 Pakistani diplomatic missions have been trained to deliver this service.
“NADRA is now helping the government institutions capitalize on this digital transformation by taking performative action based on our analysis of human connections,” says Malik.
More than 8,000 applicants reportedly have processed power-of-attorney applications from the United Kingdom and the United States in the past 16 months, with the most applications from London, New York and Houston. Also, roughly 1.5 million Pakistanis abroad have accessed the power-of-attorney site so far.
NADRA has recently created an alternative biometric system for elderly people with faded fingerprints.