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Biometric FAQ

Introduction of Biometrics as part of the visa application process in India Information note for visa applicants

High Commission of India, Colombo has introduced mandatory Biometrics for all Visa categories effective 01st May 2018.

Biometric data consists of 10 finger prints collected via a 4+4+2 scanner and photo captured by special facial cameras. As per the approved scheme, Biometrics traits (Fingerprints and facial) of the visa applicants (exempted persons of age below 12 years or above 70 years) will be captured at the time of submission of visa application.

All Applicants are requested to present at the time of submission of Visa Application at Visa Application Center.

Biometric data collection

Biometrics will be collected using a quick, discreet and non-intrusive process that captures a facial image with a digital camera and a 10-digit fingerprint scan with a digital finger scanner.

Your face must be clearly visible for a photograph to be taken. This means that you cannot:
  • Have hair that covers the eyes
  • Wear a hat or scarf or any other item that obscures the face, hair or neck (with the exception of religious head coverings detailed below:
  • If you wear a head or neck covering for religious reasons you must ensure your face is clearly visible, from the bottom of your chin to above your eyebrows including both cheeks. If possible both ears should also be displayed. You may also need to remove your glasses when the photograph is taken.
  • If you have cut or damaged your fingertips, you should try to apply for your visa once the injury has healed.
  • Henna/Mehndi on fingertips may also mean we are unable to get a clear scanned image; hence this should be removed or allowed to fade before you apply.
  • If you refuse to submit your biometrics and you are not subject to any exception according to GOI regulation (being under 12 years of age, being Head of State, etc.), your visa application will not be accepted.
  • Applicants who are under 12 years of age, and above 70 years of Age, persons incapable of providing consent, or those physically unable to provide a fingerprint scan, will only need to provide a facial photograph.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – BIOMETRICS ENROLMENT PROGRAM
  • What is biometric enrolment?
    Biometric information refers to your fingerprints and a digital photograph of your face.
  • Does the requirement apply to all visa types? Does it apply every time you make an application?
    This requirement will apply to all visa types: short stay, long stay and transit. It will apply to all visa required nationals located in India. It will not require when it is mentioned in your online Visa Application.
  • Does it apply to all applicants?
    Some applicants will be exempt from the requirement. The list of exemptions is set out below. If one of these categories applies to you, you will have the opportunity, when making your on-line visa application, to indicate that you are exempt.
  • Where do I enrol my biometric information?
    If you are required to provide your biometric information as part of the visa application process you must attend at a visa application centre. When you attend the visa application centre, you will need to provide your biometric information, which includes a digital photograph and a digital scan of your fingerprints. Your digital photograph must be taken with full face and without sunglasses or tinted spectacles, or head covering unless it is worn for religious or medical reasons. Your face should be clearly visible with no hair across the eyes. The collection of your biometric information at a visa application centre includes a digital finger scan (all 10 digits). The finger scan procedure uses an electronic scanner. No ink, liquid or chemical is used. You should ensure that your fingertips are free from any forms of decoration (for example, henna), cuts, abrasions or other markings as these may affect your ability to provide acceptable finger scans.
  • Where can I complete this procedure?
    You will be able to enroll your biometric information at the Visa Application Centre after you submit your application.
  • What happens when I enroll my biometrics information?
    Enrolling your biometric information is a quick and clean process. We use the photograph submitted to us on the application for a facial scan, capture the facial image and then you put your fingers on a glass screen to be scanned - there is no ink or mess. We are aware of the need to protect the dignity, privacy and modesty of applicants, and there will be special arrangements for applicants where needed.
  • How long does it take?
    The biometric enrolment process takes up to 10 minutes. There may be a short wait while we check your data.
  • What about any medical or physical conditions that may require special arrangements for the applicant?
    If you or any dependents who are applying with you have a medical or physical condition which may require special arrangements to be made in order for your biometric features to be recorded, you must obtain a letter or other document giving the details of any such condition and enclose it with your application. Appropriate documentary evidence would be a letter from a treating clinician, such as a practicing doctor registered with the General Medical Council, giving details of the condition and/or special needs and explaining any arrangements that may be necessary.
  • What happens if I refuse to give my biometrics?
    If an applicant fails to make arrangements to provide their biometrics their application will not be accepted.

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