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Turks & Caicos mulls biometrics to enhance border security, check illegal immigrants

South Korea launching residence ID
Turks & Caicos mulls biometrics to enhance border security, check illegal immigrants

The Caribbean Island of Turks and Caicos is planning to implement a biometric system that will keep track of all immigrants traveling into the country. It also plans to install biometric gates for the screening of travellers, in a move that is intended to enhance border security.

The Minister of Immigration and Border Services Arlington Musgrove is quoted by Magnetic Media as saying that the project to protect the immigration system and digitize the borders will be implemented in three phases.

According to the Minister, the government intends to put in place an end-to-end system that will have an online customer-service platform, a biometric database for all non-nationals as well as the installation of automated gates at border points to screen travelers.

Musgrove has also explained that all of these is to help government better deal with frequently reported issues of illegal immigration where people either stay beyond the duration of their work permits or come in the country on short visit visas but do not want to leave after the expiry of their legal stay.

Thus, biometrics, he said, will make the immigration system “more robust” and “will help us quickly identify persons who have broken the immigration rules.”

He assured that, with the work that has so far been done, including with support from the United Kingdom government and other partners, some of the procurement for the digital innovation projects is likely to be handled in the 2023/2024 national budget.

Turks and Caicos last December unveiled plans to roll out a digital and national ID card system in 2025.

New residence IDs for aliens in South Korea

In a related story, the Republic of Korea has also begun issuing ID cards with a new design to foreigners staying in the country beyond three months.

Inquirer recounts that the card, formerly referred to as ‘alien residence card’ is designed with a color photo of the holder larger than that in the old version.

Changes have also been made to the gender indicators on the card, which cancel out the binary indicators of ‘M’ for male and ‘F’ for female. These have been replaced by numbers, the report notes.

A QR code has also been added to the card through which the digital information of the card holder can be read with the help of a scanner.

South Korea is working to fully operationalize a blockchain-based mobile digital ID system by next year.

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