International and Immigration
Tel: 020 7035 4848
Fax: 020 7035 4745
2 Marsham Street
Pol Blacque firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 10 January 2017
Thank you for your e-mail of 25 December 2016, in which you ask for information about
fingerprint matching with Five Country Conference (FCC) partners and an agreement to
share immigration history about visa applicants with the US. Your request has been
handled as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Your first question asks what it means when fingerprints have a match when another FCC
country initiates an enquiry. The Home Office has bilateral Memoranda of Understanding
(MOUs) with each of its FCC partners – the Australian Department of Immigration and
Border Protection; Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Canadian
Border Services Agency jointly; Immigration New Zealand; and the US Department of
Homeland Security and Department of State jointly – that enable them to send
anonymised fingerprints of immigration applicants to the Home Office for checking.
Pursuant to the terms of the MoUs, these fingerprints are only checked against the Home
Office’s immigration fingerprint database. When a match is found it means the person has
a biometric immigration history in the UK.
It is apparent that your second question relates to the Agreement between the
Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the
Government of the United States of America for the Sharing of Visa, Immigration, and
Nationality Information (Treaty Series No. 6 (2014)) which allows for the sharing of
information about non-UK/US nationals. This was amended in 2016 through an Exchange
of Notes (Treaty Series No. 35 (2016)) to also allow for the sharing of information about
UK and US nationals. Both can be found via www.gov.uk.
Information cannot be shared on the basis of the Treaty alone. Pursuant to Article 4 of the
Agreement, Implementing Arrangements are required to set out the detail. These are not
legally binding and are therefore not published. However, I am able to disclose that only
one Implementing Arrangement has been agreed to date. This allows for the exchange of
information on a case-by-case basis to assist in the effective administration and
enforcement of UK/US immigration and nationality laws, and does not exclude dual
nationals. Enquiries under this Implementing Arrangement may be based on biometric or
biographic data. The process is compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998.
If you are dissatisfied with this response you may request an independent internal review
of our handling of your request by submitting a complaint within two months to the address
below, quoting reference 42284. If you ask for an internal review, it would be helpful if you
could say why you are dissatisfied with the response.
Information Rights Team
Fourth Floor, Peel Building
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
As part of any internal review the Department's handling of your information request will be
reassessed by staff who were not involved in providing you with this response. If you
remain dissatisfied after this internal review, you would have a right of complaint to the
Information Commissioner as established by section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act.
Yours sincerely International Strategy & Engagement
International and Immigration Policy Group (IIPG)