Thousands of foreign nationals’ fingerprints taken

Tom Young

And more than 8000 have been turned back thanks to biometrics, says the government

Picture of a fingerprint The government has collected fingerprints from more than 700,000 foreign nationals applying for UK visas since last September.

And upwards of 8000 sets of prints have already been matched to individuals of concern, and thus refused entry.

‘Biometric checks allow us to screen each visa applicant before they are given the right to enter the UK, meaning tighter border controls and increased security,’ said immigration minister Liam Byrne.

Applicants in 100 countries worldwide are required to provide fingerprints at embassies if they want to visit the UK. The biometrics are then checked against UK government records to see if individuals are flagged up by the Border and Immigration Agency.

Biometrics are not only use to prevent unwanted individuals entering the country. If individual applicants are successful, the records are kept to help crack down on illegal working practices and illegal immigration.