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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports that in 2016, 3.7 billion passengers flew to various destinations, a 6.7 percent hike in international air traffic from 2015 figures. But these international passengers, whether first-time travelers or seasoned globetrotters, would not be reaching their destination if they did not have the necessary travel documents.
It is, thus, important that for those who dream of seeing the world to fully understand what they need to accomplish before booking their flights and accommodations. For new travelers, a passport, an official document issued by a government bearing the holder’s identification and citizenship and right to travel to and from foreign countries, is essential. And for some countries, a visa or an endorsement that the passport holder can stay in the territory for a particular period is also required.
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Apart from the usual documents that need to be submitted when applying for a passport or visa, almost all countries these days require applicants to enroll their biometric data. After the 9/11 attacks, governments saw the need to improve security policies, particularly those that concern international travel, to prevent similar disastrous incidents. Since then, countries started improving their passport and visa application processes, with biometrics at the forefront of their revamped initiatives.
Briefly defined, biometric identifiers are distinctive, measurable characteristics that identify an individual. These physiological characteristics include but are not limited to face recognition, fingerprint, DNA, palm print, and iris recognition.
For passport and visa applications, biometric enrollment calls for the collection of a digital photograph and electronic fingerprints. When collecting biometric data, government institutions, including diplomatic missions and their outsourced service providers, must follow the international standards for capturing and storing of information. As biometric enrollment is a mandatory requirement in passport and visa processing in most countries, applicants who refuse to provide their data will have their application denied.
Visit this website to learn more about biometric enrollment service CKGS provides to the diplomatic missions it serves worldwide.