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Immigration Minister Kevin Foster has outlined the government’s goal by the end of 2024 to replace all immigration documents with digital proof of status.

The Ministry of the Interior first indicated in early 2020 that its ultimate goal was to eliminate all printed immigration documents. The announcement came as the Department provided the EU Settlement Scheme, which did not provide successful physical applicants with any physical documentation, but instead gave them access to a digital service that allows them to assert their rights to live and work in the country.

Paperless ambitions were again mentioned in the New Immigration Plan, a “strategic statement” published last year.

Now Foster has repeated a plan to “develop a border and immigration system that is ‘digital by default.'”

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Under this agenda, immigration agencies will “increasingly replace physical and paper products and services with affordable, easy-to-use online and digital services.”

“Our ambition is to replace physical documents with electronic visas by the end of 2024 – giving people access to online evidence of their immigration status – by the end of 2024,” he said in response to a written parliamentary question from Labor’s shadow immigration minister. Stephen Kinak’s party.

“This change is being implemented gradually, and we will continue to take into account the characteristics of each cohort to ensure that no one is left behind when we move to a digital system.”

The main focus of this deployment will be the introduction of the Electronic Travel Authorization system, similar in style to the US ESTA visa waiver program, in which those arriving in the country on a short visit can fill out an online form. prior to their arrival and obtain automated permission.

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