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New Zealand strengthen border security

Michael Woodhouse

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Wellington, July 29, 2016

I welcome the launch of Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) new identity management system.

The system, known as IDme, enables face photos and fingerprint information from applicants to be captured online and automatically matched against personal data already held by INZ.

IDme is a major step change in our ability to protect against identity fraud by non-New Zealanders. It gives greater assurance that the visa system detects and prevents identity fraud.

The move to online visa applications means we need to balance the increased convenience that brings with extra risk mitigation.

IDme is being released in two stages – the first release, today, enables automated matching of all biographic details (personal data), fingerprints and a small volume of facial photos.

The second release, in the last quarter of this year, will allow full matching of all applicant photos.

Customer Focus

The new identity management system is the latest in a series of customer-focused business improvements in INZ. Customers can now apply online for student, work and visitor visas, and INZ’s third party partners such as immigration advisers and lawyers can lodge visa applications online on behalf of their clients. Passport-free applications and label-less visas (eVisas) have been extended to many countries, and a new, more user-friendly website is now up and running.

Collectively, the changes will standardise best practice and consistent, measurable quality standards across INZ. The aim is that customers enjoy the same high-quality experience whenever and wherever they engage with INZ

Michael Woodhouse is Immigration Minister of New Zealand.

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