Local reports have indicated that South Korea is to accelerate its plans to fingerprint foreigners aged 17 years and older when entering the country. The government had intended to introduce the new biometric-entry procedures in 2012, but has reportedly brought forward its plans to this summer because Seoul is now set to host the G-20 summit this November.
The country’s national assembly passed a bill on Wednesday for revising immigration control legislation. The tougher rules are designed to fight global terrorism and organized crime, similar to systems recently announced in Indonesia, and already in operation in countries such as the USA and Japan.
Once the new rules are in place, immigration officials will take facial photos and most likely digital fingerprints of both index fingers. Some foreigners, such as diplomats, will be exempt from the new requirement.
In the region of seven million foreigners visited South Korea last year. Visa requirements are waived for tourists from Japan and some other countries, but the new rules could make entry procedures more time-consuming.