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Biometrics are an integral part of the UK's secure border control, helping to protect the UK against illegal immigration, crime, terrorism, and individuals against identity fraud.

All visa applicants, irrespective of nationality, who apply for a UK visa will be required to attend in person to provide a ten-finger scan and a digital photograph as part of the UK visa application process. The digital photography and electronic finger-scanning procedure is quick, discreet, straightforward and entirely safe. Providing biometric data became a legal requirement for all UK visa applicants under the provision of the Immigration (Provision of Physical Data) Regulation 2006 which came into force on 4 July 2006.

The biometric data collected will be stored on a database in the UK and held strictly in accordance with United Kingdom legislation, including the Data Protection Act 1998.

The recording of biometric data is a quick, discreet and straightforward part of the overall application process, taking on average no more than five minutes to record finger scans and take a digital photograph. It is an entirely electronic process (no ink or other chemicals involved in the finger scanning process).

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