The UK Home Office has entered a new two-year agreement with options for two additional years with Inverid and other technology partners – Entrust and iProov – to expand the digitisation of UK immigration application processes. The solution enables a streamlined, more seamless way for travellers coming to the UK to be identified via their facial biometrics and biometric passport, bringing a more secure border control and speeding up identity and border checks. This new contract will, among others, support the pending UK Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) that could apply to 30 million travellers per year, under the Generic Identity and Document Verification (GIDV) programme.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the net number of migrants has recovered from the dip seen during the pandemic. This increase in travel and migration to pre-pandemic levels creates a pressing need to simplify and digitise entry processes. Combining the power of Inverid’s ReadID technology with the Identity and Document Verification as a Service from Entrust and iProov’s liveness technology enables faster and more secure immigration application processing, mitigating the need for applicants to physically send their passport to the Home Office or apply in person.
The service works in conjunction with Home Office online application processes and involves the use of a mobile app with ReadID inside which reads and verifies the chip in a person’s passport. With NFC-based identity document verification using ReadID, the authenticity of the document can be verified with the highest degree of assurance. The applicant then takes a ‘selfie’, or scan, of their face which is matched against their image in the passport chip. A liveness test ensures that the applicant is a real, live person and matches the verified identity document. This information is sent securely to the Home Office which verifies the identity of the passport holder and completes the application process.
GIDV builds on the solution with ReadID in the same partnership in use since 2019 to support the EU Settlement scheme for EU nationals following Brexit. It has also been applied to help the resettlement of Hong Kong-based British passport holders, for some overseas student categories, and for Ukrainian refugees applying for a Ukraine Family Scheme visa. It will be used to enable the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme (ETA) which is due to begin in late 2023. This is a core component in the UK government plans to introduce Universal Permission to Travel. Passengers will be asked to declare their identity before travelling, as well as the reasons for travel via a digital application process using the same Entrust and Inverid document and biometric identification technologies.