Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is extending its use of biometrics. Photographs may be collected from clients and fingerprints may be collected from high risk immigration applicants.
Fingerprints have been collected by INZ since January 2011, but this has been limited to asylum claimants. Fingerprints have been checked with members of the Five Country Conference (FCC) to help determine individuals’ identity and background.
The use of biometrics, as provided for under the Immigration Act 2009, and covers:
Passport readers will be installed at INZ offices and international airports. These readers will capture a passport-holder’s photo.
INZ will not collect biometrics from New Zealand passport holders.
No biometric face-matching will be conducted in this phase.
These new measures will enable INZ to deliver faster, high confidence services to migrants and New Zealand. Benefits include:
Increased use of biometrics also addresses recommendations from the Office of the Auditor General that INZ improve its identity management processes and capability to better maintain the integrity of the immigration system.
All passports will be authenticated via an automatic process. If there are indications of forgery the passport and its bearer will be investigated.
No. A privacy impact assessment has been conducted in close consultation with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
All biometrics are handled with very high levels of data security, with strict rules around access of data.
Clients may be given a copy of their biometric information on request.
They are stored in a secure Immigration Fingerprint Database housed in the New Zealand Police Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).
Fingerprints will be searched against existing INZ records and in some cases against our FCC partner records, but not against the Police criminal database.
No. Clients’ passport photos will be scanned as part of routine processing.