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New Zealand Tightens Biometric Checks to Combat Visa Fraud

New Zealand Tightens Biometric Checks to Combat Visa Fraud

The New Zealand immigration department has implemented a new Biometric Capability Update (BCU) designed to identify fraudulent applications better and reduce manual interventions.

The BCU will use biometric data such as fingerprints, face photos, and DNA samples to ensure the people presenting at the border or applying for entry are who they claim to be.

The move follows an assessment of the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Identity Management System (IMS) conducted by the privacy commissioner of New Zealand and has drawn scrutiny from privacy advocates due to potential risks associated with biometrics, including function-creep, lack of transparency, and surveillance and profiling. Special attention is being paid to ensure there is no bias against New Zealand’s indigenous Maori population when collecting biometric data.

This update is part of New Zealand’s commitment to the Five Country Conference (FCC), an international agreement on exchanging biometric data for immigration purposes involving Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. This overhaul is expected to streamline the immigration process and create a smoother, safer experience for all.

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Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.

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