China Begins Fingerprinting Foreign Visitors

China has begun fingerprinting foreign visitors, the country’s Ministry of Public Security announced. Reuters reported the new policy rolled out at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport in southern China and is on schedule to be gradually implemented at other airports and entry points throughout the country.

The Ministry said it would fingerprint all foreign passport holders aged 14 to 70. By doing so, China joins a handful of other countries already logging fingerprints, including the U.S. and Japan, which have been fingerprinting foreign visitors for the past decade. The goal for the new regulation is to increase efficiency and bolster the country’s immigration controls, Reuters reported.
Not everyone coming to China will be impacted by the new policy, though. Foreign visitors possessing a diplomatic passport or coming from a nation that has a reciprocal agreement with China will be exempted from fingerprinting.

China’s enhanced security efforts come while Dutch airline KLM begins testing face-scanning technology at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in hopes of speeding up the boarding process and enhancing security. Elsewhere around the world, programs are utilizing biometrics like fingerprints and iris scans to confirm travellers’ identities.

Source:, 14 February 2017

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