Within the EU, more than 20 million third-country nationals require a residence permit. In 2002, the European Union decided to harmonize residence permits so that the EU member states could guarantee more security for the residence documents of citizens from third countries. The EU residence permit is a smartcard-based document that stores biometric data securely. It replaces the previous format that is no longer adequate for the growing security needs.
The technical specifications for EU-wide compatibility, based on the ICAO guidelines, require two biometric identifiers: a facial image and two fingerprints. Data stored on the chip integrated into the electronic residence card will be encrypted and transmitted via the contacts on the chip surface. The eERP can also be supported as a contact-based interface.
Depending on country-specific demand, the chip can also incorporate other applications. This will allow cardholders to use electronic public services, for example, or to uniquely authenticate their identity when shopping online or accessing other Internet services.