Authorities to collect iris scans from Singaporeans, PRs starting Jan 1

Authorities to collect iris scans from Singaporeans, PRs starting Jan 1

Iris scans will be collected as part of the NRIC registration and re-registration process, as well as part of the passport application and renewal process, says MHA.

file photo iris scanning

SINGAPORE: From the beginning of next year, authorities will start collecting iris images from Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs) when they register or re-register for their NRIC, or apply for or renew a passport, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The iris images will serve as another identifier to boost verification methods, in addition to the photographs and fingerprints already used on the documents.

The change is part of amendments to the National Registration Act, which were passed in Parliament in November and paves the way for iris scans to be introduced progressively at Singapore's land and sea checkpoints within the next two years. In a statement on Wednesday (Dec 28), MHA said the amendments will take effect on Jan 1.

The ministry said the amendments will enable the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of its operations.

ICA will also appoint selected SingPost employees as registration officers. They will help take iris images from NRIC holders at selected SingPost outlets, as part of NRIC registration or re-registration, MHA said.

Source: CNA/dt