Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, yesterday (31) announced the introduction of biometrics collection for visas processed in Sri Lanka to further strengthen border security and identity checking processes.
The Australian Government commenced the phased introduction of biometric collection overseas in December last year, with the first stage of the program including visa applications processed at 10 Department of Immigration and Citizenship offices across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Mr Bowen said from 8 February this year, anyone lodging paper-based visa applications in Sri Lanka will need to provide a digital facial photograph and a scan of their fingerprints at the Australian Visa Application Centre in Colombo as part of the visa application process.
'Biometric data is widely used in the international community as an effective tool to manage visa and immigration processes, improve identity management and combat fraud,' Mr Bowen said.
'Better identity management and the use of biometrics are crucial to keeping Australia's borders secure and maintaining the integrity of our visa and migration programs.