More than 1000 biometric scanners will be used as part of biometric visa scheme

The Home Office has signed a $4.4m (£2.18m) deal with supplier Cross Match Technologies to provide 1,385 biometric devices at government buildings based in foreign countries.

The Guardian scanners will be used to take fingerprint readings of every applicant for a UK visa.

The new biometric readings will help to strengthen control of British borders, said UKvisas head of procurement Andrew Pestell.

“The recording of biometric information through our new fingerprint readers allows us to fix an individual’s identity at the earliest point practicable so that only those with permission can travel to the UK,” said Pestell.

The UK is the first EU country to collect ten fingerprints and a digital photo from every visa applicant.