Consulate switches to biometric passports

9th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — The British Consulate General in Amsterdam will begin issuing biometric passports from 22 April. From this date, all applications received at the Consulate will be for biometric passports only.

9 March 2006

AMSTERDAM — The British Consulate General in Amsterdam will begin issuing biometric passports from 22 April. From this date, all applications received at the Consulate will be for biometric passports only.

"The use of biometric information to link a person to a passport can help to counter identity fraud. It can also help to link people with previous passport applications," the British Embassy said in a statement.

Biometrics is the use of technology to read the unique biological features of an individual and is considered the most advanced way of verifying a person's identity. Biometric passports are seen as an important tool to make life more difficult for terrorists and international criminals.  

Examples of biometric identifiers include facial recognition, fingerprints and iris recognition. The biometric data can be scanned and matched against information stored on a chip in for example a card or a passport.

The British Embassy said the facial biometric for the new passports will be derived from the applicant's passport photo.

"We therefore require passport applicants to provide us with good quality photos from which we can capture a facial recognition biometric that meets all internationally agreed standards. Passport applications may be delayed or rejected if the submitted photos do not meet the necessary standards," the statement cautioned.

Fingerprint scans may be included in future biometric passports from 2008.

With effect from 22 April, the British Consulate will no longer be able to issue 48 page (Jumbo) passports.

Biometric passports will be more expensive. From 22 April the cost of a standard passport will increase from EUR 128 to EUR 142 and passports for those under 16 years of age will be EUR 92. All applications received at the Consulate after 22 April will need to pay this higher fee.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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