New Delhi, Dec 11 (UNI) The British High Commission today introduced the bio-metric data collection system as part of the visa application process in India which involves finger printing and taking a digital photograph of the applicant.
The bio-metric system which will be put into practice from tomorrow, is being done to encourage the right people to travel to the UK and keep track of unwanted people, officials of the British High Commission here said today.
India will be 131st country where the system will be put into practice. So far the system has been introduced in 130 countries.
The officials said that from tomorrow, visa applications would take longer to process than at present. Also, it will be necessary to provide bio-metric data each time an application is made for a UK visa, the officials said.
The bio-metric system will also allow the British High Commission to introduce longer-term visas to the UK.
''The collection of bio-metric data is part of a long-standing UK government strategy...By collecting bio-metric data, UK visas is better able to ensure that it can identify valued customers, protect them from identity fraud, strengthen the control of UK borders and make the UK an even safer place to visit,'' a British High Commission release said here.
UK Visa Application Centres, operated by the Visa Facilitation Service (VFS) Global across the country had been closed from December 7 till today to allow for technical upgrades and staff training in preparation for the introduction of the bio-metric collection, the officials added.
The VFS operates 12 12 Visa Application Centres at which bio-metric data collection will take place.