China to fingerprint all foreigners
Chinese lawmakers are currently considering new visa rules that would require all visitors working and studying in the country to have their fingerprints scanned as they enter and exit
All foreigners entering and exiting China could soon be fingerprinted by customs officials.
Chinese lawmakers are currently considering new visa rules that would require all visitors working and studying in the country to have their fingerprints scanned.
The rules would only apply to foreigners requesting residence visas, which allow an individual to stay in the country for six months or more. Business people, journalists, and students, who typically apply for residence visas, would be affected the most by the new rules.
Speaking in support of the new requirement at a bimonthly meeting of lawmakers, Yang Huanming, the vice minister of public security, said fingerprinting visitors and collecting biometric data were “effective measures” that would help speed up arrivals and departures at immigration checkpoints.
In March the Chinese National People’s Congress will gather for their annual meeting. The National Congress is expected to approve the legislation as they seldom reject any laws.
Ye Jingyi, an expert on labor law at Peking University, said fingerprinting foreigners would help Chinese workers at foreign companies as it would now be more difficult for foreign bosses to flee the country without paying wages.
“Such a regulation would be a warning to foreign employers that their freedom to leave the country would be restricted if they did not pay workers on time,” Ye said. “It’s also good news for workers because the rule could help prevent foreign bosses from maliciously delaying wages.”
During the global recession, foreign bosses commonly fled the country without paying wages, especially in coastal areas like Guangdong and Shandong.