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Fingerprint Info Shared By Australian Immigration With New Zealand

17 Aug 2010


In order to prevent people from using fake documents to travel between Australia and New Zealand, a new system has been introduced, i.e., Australian immigration authority have begun to share and exchange fingerprinting information with New Zealand. Also, the system will identify and track people under refugee status seeking to live in Australia, New Zealand and any of the other FCC nations.

In addition to the New Zealand and Australia agreement, the policy is set to expand to include the US, the UK and Canada under what is known as the Five Country Conference (FCC). The fingerprints information will not be shared with anyone outside the FCC agreement.

MThe fingerprints will be used to gather biometric information about certain individuals who are thought to be using false identities or who may have been involved in organised crime or other criminal activity.

Arron Baker, Immigration NZ programme manager for identity and biometrics said, “Not everyone coming into the country would be fingerprinted but the measure was primarily aimed at people applying for refugee status, particularly those with no identity or with no passports.”

"It's a small scale arrangement but it's significant in that this is the first time that we have been running a biometric matching agreement international from an immigration point of view."

The system will help Immigration NZ combat fraud and strengthen border security by helping identify early in the immigration process people with criminal histories or those using false identities, Mr Baker said.

There were substantial privacy safeguards and fingerprints of the countries' citizens would not be shared, Mr Baker said.


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