The Migration Amendment (Strengthening Biometrics Integrity) Bill 2015 has received Royal Assent. The Bill will extend biometric data collection to include fingerprints and iris scans, for the purpose of combating the threat of Australians travelling overseas to fight with terrorist organisations.
Currently, the Department of Immigration & Border Protection (DIBP) collects biometric data in limited circumstances, and only for purposes related to the approval of a visa and ensuring visa compliance. The changes to the Migration Act 1958 will enable the DIBP to capture any type of personal identifier, from Australians and foreigners entering or departing the country. Information on the collection of biometric data at Australian airports can be found here. The Bill and Explanatory Memorandum can be downloaded here. It is also expected that Australia will implement a national system allowing law enforcement agencies to share facial images by mid-2016, with the stated purpose of reducing organised crime.
Contact Expat’s visa team to discuss how the changes will affect companies, employees and individuals.