BEIJING – China will introduce US style visa rules for foreigners, which included procedures like finger printing, to put in place biological identification data in order to “curb illegal entry” in the country to seek jobs.
The draft law on entry and exit procedures, currently under consideration by China’s legislature, National People’s Congress, for the first time, allows the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to put in place a system to gather biological identification data, such as fingerprints, on foreign visitors.
The draft also stipulates that foreigners should be fingerprinted by public security departments when they apply for a residential certificate, official media reported today.
China already has stringent rules for resident permits which are given every year for foreigners working here.
All foreigners including journalists have to undergo health checks on arrival before getting resident visas and have to report to nearest police station within 24 hours.
Till last year China stipulated foreigners to undergo mandatory AIDS tests before they arrive to seek resident permits. It was done away with following criticism that it discriminated people with HIV.
The regulations currently stipulate that foreigners staying for longer than a year should apply for a residential certificate, while the proposed draft requires visitors to do so within a month after entering China, “if their visa requires”.
Yang Huanning, vice-minister of public security, told lawmakers at their bimonthly session that fingerprints and other biotechnology information are “effective measures” in identification and can speed up arrival and departure procedures at customs.