China to Start Fingerprinting Foreign Visitors At All Ports Of Entry Effective April 26, 2018

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China Immigration apparently started to fingerprint all foreign visitors as of this week based on a notice Air Canada published on it’s website.

China has announced this measure already back in February as a plan to roll out gradual collection of biometric data from adult visitor.

You can find the notice on Air Canada’s website here.

China’s Ministry of Public Security has announced that it is implementing a policy to collect fingerprints of foreign passport holders upon their arrival in China.

Effective April 27, 2018, border control authorities at all of China’s ports of entry, including its airports, will start collecting the fingerprints of all foreign visitors aged between 14 and 70. Diplomatic passport holders and beneficiaries of reciprocal agreements are exempted.

With this new policy, China joins other countries around the world who already collect fingerprints and other biometrics from foreigners.

This can’t be good news for the efficient processing at Chinese borders which are often understaffed and notoriously slow. In fact I find that the immigration checkpoints in China are considerably worse as far as efficiency goes than major U.S. airports that have a bad reputation in the same field such as Miami and Washington D.C. – just awful!

Back in February the South China Morning Post (see here) had the initial announcement that the measure would first be implemented in Shenzhen.

All foreigners will soon have to give their fingerprints upon entering China, with the new rule taking effect at Shenzhen’s airport on Friday.

The move, aimed at improving border checks, would see China collecting the fingerprints of all foreigners aged between 14 and 70 entering the country, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

The new regulation will start on Friday at Shenzhen Baoan International Airport, among other locations, before being gradually rolled out at all checkpoints across the country.

The information would then be stored for official use, the statement said. It did not elaborate on whether the information would shared across ministries and other government agencies. …

Conclusion

Have you visited China these last few days and can give any input how it went or if it has in fact been implemented at all points of entry?

I don’t mind leaving fingerprints but it adds lots of extra time to the immigration process and my biggest pet peeve about it is that the biometric scanners are often not sanitized on a regular basis. I sometimes get into arguments with immigration staff when I ask them to please sanitize the fingerprint scanner, especially when it looks particularly filthy. While it’s generally not my recommendation to start fights with immigration staff I rather do that than touching some dirty surfaces where thousands of people before me literally left their mark.

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