Fingerprints for residence permit application foreign nationals

Fingerprints and digital passport photos should improve the identity check of foreign nationals when they apply for a residence permit. The use of biometric data will also be introduced for family migration and residence permits for study or work purposes. This is already done for foreign nationals seeking asylum. Identity fraud, document fraud and illegality can be tackled better by checking their fingerprints and photos. So states a bill by State SecretaryTeeven approved by the Senate today.

All services having to do with issuing and checking residence permits will work with the fingerprints and the digital passport photos in a central database: the immigration and naturalisation service, the Aliens Police, the Seaport Police, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, the Custodial Institutions Agency, the Repatriation and Departure Service and diplomatic posts abroad.

People applying for a residence permit only need to give their fingerprints and passport photo once. After that their identity may be checked via a scan of their fingerprint and the comparison with their photo. These biometric characteristics will be stored in a central database and in a chip on the residence permit.

Nothing will change for asylum seekers as they have always been required to give their fingerprints and submit a photo with their application for asylum. In this way it can be checked if they have already applied for asylum in another European country or in the Netherlands under a different name.

People who take a civic integration test abroad because they want to come to the Netherlands for family formation or reunion already identify themselves by fingerprints and a photo. These will also be stored in a central database in future. Fraud with final residence permits can thus be avoided in the Netherlands. The Personal Data Protection Act applies to the biometric data.