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S.Korea to fingerprint foreign visitors from 2010


TOKYO : The South Korean government will fingerprint and photograph all foreigners visiting South Korea starting next year, as part of efforts to strengthen its immigration control, Yonhap News Agency reported Friday.
All foreign visitors, including tourists, will be obliged to undergo fingerprinting and have their photo taken before entering South Korea from July 2010, said Yonhap, citing officials at the Ministry of Justice.

The planned fingerprinting policy is primarily intended to regulate illegal entries by foreigners, it said.

The US and Japan have already adopted the fingerprinting policy.
At present, some 200,000 foreigners are believed to be illegally staying in South Korea, accounting for 17.3 percent of an estimated 1.15 million foreigners here, according to ministry data.

The government last week announced a plan to offer dual citizenship to gifted foreigners to attract outstanding talents from abroad. Under the current law, foreigners seeking South Korean citizenship must first give up their original nationality. (end) mk.ema KUNA 031019 Apr 09NNNN