Cyprus Switches to New Biometric ID Cards

August 18, 2020
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Cyprus introduces new protected ID cards
Photo: Adobe Stock
The Cyprus Migration Service has started to issue new biometric ID cards for citizens and residents of Cyprus. The replacement is carried out within the framework of the Common EU Policy and in accordance with the regulation of 2019. The changes are aimed at strengthening the protection of personal data against fraud and forgery.

New ID-cards contain two fingerprints of the owner in digital format.

The modern standard of documents is designed for maximum protection against forgery and fraud with the use of personal data. It is also designed to help the EU authorities in the fight against terrorism and organized crime.

How Cyprus will replace ID cards

Biometric ID-cards will start to be issued to citizens and residents of Cyprus on a turn-key basis to issue or replace a document. All old-style cards will remain valid until the expiration of the period specified on them

According to EU regulations, the transition to new documents should be fully completed by August 3, 2031.

Cyprus has belatedly started issuing ID-cards of a new sample. At the end of July 2020, the Government of Cyprus announced the technical difficulties that had delayed the issuance of cards.

New standard of ID-cards in EU countries

On June 20, 2019 the European Union adopted Regulation 2019/1157 on strengthening the protection and unification of documents of citizens and residents of the EU. All member states of the Union were to launch the issue of new generation biometric ID-cards by August 2, 2020.

Protected ID-cards will be issued when documents are processed by new citizens and residents, as well as when old-style cards are replaced after the expiration of their validity period.

Statistics for November 2020 showed that there are more than 250 identity cards of various formats in the EU. At the same time, ID-cards are issued in all 26 EU countries. A single standard should unify documents as much as possible and make the system more transparent.

No less important update is expansion of the list of mandatory security elements. Now it is obligatory to have biometric data of the owner in the form of two fingerprints in digital format on ID-cards.

All measures are aimed at improving security, controlling migration traffic within the region and fighting terrorism and crime.

Earlier we said that Malta started issuing protected ID-cards to its citizens. Among other things, the government has announced that new documents will be issued to British citizens who prefer to stay on the island after Braxit.

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