How OCR can Help You in Your Passport Application Process

How OCR can Help You in Your Passport Application Process

Arabic OCR for ID Scanning: How it Works - Anyline

OCR stands for optical character recognition. It is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows computers to understand characters in images. Usually, computers recognize characters with their ASCII codes. However, an image does not have any ASCII at all, so there is no way for a computer to understand the text inside. But OCR allows it to understand that certain configurations of pixels are in fact characters.

This technology has revolutionized the way in which documents flow in different workplaces. It has allowed people to convert their physical documents into digital ones which they can edit and save easily. This has resulted in various types of offices adopting OCR for this purpose. Some systems that use OCR are document-verification systems such as those in airports, immigration offices, police systems, and other types of government offices.

In this article, we are going to look at how OCR helps you in your passport application process.

A Typical Passport Application Process

The passport application process can be divided into six main steps. OCR is not involved in all of them, but there are steps in which OCR can speed things up. So, let’s take a look at the six steps required for applying for a passport.

They are:

  1. Arriving at the customer service counter. This is the step in which the customer is informed about all the required documents and prerequisites for applying.
  2. A token number is assigned to the applicant. This token is used to inform the applicant about their turn. 
  3. Biometric data is collected when it’s the applicant’s turn.
  4. Data entry is done after biometric data has been collected
  5. The information is verified against existing records.
  6. An interview about your purpose for visiting is held.

When all the steps are completed, the applicant just has to wait for their passport to arrive at their house.

The process may differ in different countries and even different parts of the same country, but the basic steps are the same.

How Does OCR Improve Your Passport Application Process?

OCR is helpful for the passport application process for both the officials involved as well as the applicants. OCR helps get all insightful data from an image and convert it to text Let’s see how both things are done.

For Officials

OCR can improve the process of a passport application in several ways. Government offices in most countries already employ it for document verification (step five in the application process). They do not waste their time inputting the content by hand. They just scan all of your documents with a scanner and OCR does their job for them.

This makes document verification a swift affair and nobody has to wait too long for anything. The only thing that takes time in this step is the occasional mistake made by the OCR application. To make sure that there are not any mistakes, the applicant has to check all the information and verify that it is correct.

Once that is done, the officials can move on to the next applicant and speedily deal with a lot of people.

For Applicants

A speedy affair is no doubt good for both the applicants and the officials. But there are other ways for people to employ OCR to improve their passport application process. They can use apps that utilize OCR—commonly known as “image to text converters” or “photo to text converters” such as those provided by Prepostseo, Myfreeocr, and Pdfconverter to make digital copies of any physical documents such as identity cards.

This allows them to have all original documents on hand without having to actually carry them. This has the benefit that if for some reason you do not have some documents on your person during the application process, you can still show them in their digital form. Depending on the type of document, it is possible that it could get accepted.

If the process is wholly online like in the USA, then applicants can use a photo to text converter to take pictures of their documents and convert them to their digital formats. In the US, passport applications can be made through a website called “Us Legal Forms.”

It provides you with an in-built editor to edit PDF files. You have to upload a form and then fill it out manually (although digitally) and finally submit it. With an OCR app, you need only copy and paste the information from your converted documents thus speeding up the entire process. Family members that share multiple information fields such as area codes, family names, and parent names, can use each other forms to fill most of theirs as well.


The image is taken from the OCR tool by Prepostseo

As you can see, all the text in the image of the form has been extracted by the tool. With a pinch of scripting, this data can be automatically taken and matched against a database of existing records for verification. 

Conclusion

In this way, OCR can help both parties involved in the passport application process i.e., the applicants for the passport and the officials who handle their requests.

We have seen that OCR applications can easily recognize uniform text. Documents are almost always in uniform text, so, it’s a no-brainer to utilize OCR in the application process.

All it takes is a few seconds, and you have your data in digital form, free to be manipulated in whatever way necessary.

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