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Australian Immigration planning to introduce a Robo-Cop for granting visas

October 2017, 03
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The Australian Immigration visa processing system will soon be overhauled, when a computer system, will determine automatically, if some foreign nationals are to be given permission, to visit/live in the country.

Visa applicants will make use of a secure website/phone app, in which they can upload all the information and biometric details needed. In this, the fingerprints/iris scans will be considered, on a Global Digital Platform, which will serve as a replacement of the paper-based system, used by the Immigration authorities at present.

The system also features a partnership, with the private sector in order to connect tourists with agencies in the holiday and accommodation sector, and introduce new residents to the Government services.

The relevant details were revealed, through Government documents, which sought Expressions of Interest, from private companies, to design and facilitate the system. The Immigration Department termed this exercise as a once-in-a-generation opportunity, for the market, to help in designing visa business in Australia, and to support it in attracting travelers, tourists and immigrants, to meet its global obligations.

These new arrangements envisage that the Immigration Department would handle all applications directly, to grant diplomatic visas and refugee status. Additionally, it will be responsible for carrying out all the security checks.

The reason for its introduction is to help border protection authorities, to cope with the large number of tourists, who visit Australia, and also to meet the demands of temporary/permanent migrants, desiring to live in the country.

Some of the applications would be referred to departmental staff, or an officer, for a decision after being processed by the Global Digital Platform. The new Platform will enable the officials to make a decision to agree/disagree with the visa applications made.

Applications can be given in 20 languages, at present, and will be translated automatically.

International tourists, interested in online booking of airline tickets, can apply for an Australian visa, through a link given in the system.

The data so collected, has to be held onshore in Australia, and staff would need appropriate security clearances, by the Government. Savings generated so, would lead to a reduction in the visa application fees. The Digital Platform is a part of reforms, being introduced, to the existing system.

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