Apple will be opening up NFC on the iPhone before the end of this year to ensure that it is able to read data stored in security chips inside passports. This will make the process of people looking to move to the UK easier as they would be able to use the EU Exit app on their iPhone. The issue was detailed last year and the UK Home Office confirmed that it has been in talks with Apple to resolve the issue and extend the NFC functionality on iPhones.
The NFC reader in iPhones is only able to read NDEF data which makes it incapable of reading contents from the NFC chip in passports. By the end of this year though, Apple will open the NFC functionality on iPhones to support the NFC tag and the EU Exit: ID Document Check app.
“I’m also pleased to confirm that Apple will make the identity document check app available on their devices by the end of the year,” says Home Secretary Sajid Javid.
The UK government is using a more modern way to allow EU citizens to apply for UK residency. Anyone interested can use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app to upload their documents, verify their current identity by scanning the NFC chip in their passport, and lastly upload a selfie for the Home Office records. The EU Exit app is already available on Google Play since Android devices are capable of reading the NFC tags in the passport.
Once Apple opens the NFC reader on its iPhone, the UK government will make its EU Exit app available on the iPhone as well. This should make the process of moving to the UK for residency easier for people owning an iPhone as currently, they have to take the longer route of sending their documents to the UK Visa and Immigration Service.[Via NFC World]