Iridian Technologies Lina Page has the iris of her eye reflected in a eye scanner that allows for physical access as she demonstrates her companies technology at Comdex 2001 in Las Vegas November 14, 2001. Reuters

Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Wednesday that the authorities will start collecting iris images from Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs) when they will register or re-register for their NRIC, or apply for or renew a passport from the beginning of next year.

The scanned iris images will serve as another important identifier that can boost the verification methods, apart from the photographs and fingerprints that are already used on the documents.

In a statement, MHA said this change is a part of amendments to the National Registration Act that was passed in Parliament in November. The new iris scans would be introduced progressively at Singapore's land and sea checkpoints within the next two years

The ministry also said that the amendments will help the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of its operations.

MHA further added that ICA can also appoint selected SingPost employees as registration officers. The officers will help in taking the iris images from NRIC holders at selected SingPost outlets, as part of NRIC registration or re-registration.