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Israel could capture biometrics of all non-citizens entering the country

Similar border changes coming to Ukraine, likely to Macau
Israel could capture biometrics of all non-citizens entering the country

Governments around the world continue to draft and approve legislation to collect biometric data from arrivals into their countries and territories. Israel, Ukraine and Macao are among the latest, claiming more convenience for foreigners and greater crime-fighting and migration monitoring abilities for the state.

Israel approves bill for visitor biometrics

All non-citizens arriving in Israel could have their biometrics captured after the Ministerial Committee on Legislation passed a bill on Sunday, reports The Jerusalem Post. The Knesset still needs to pass the bill into law.

Israel’s Interior Minister pushed for the legislation in anticipation of an increase of illegal visitors as well as foreigners overstaying their work visas. Numbers have recently been lower due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The process will collect fingerprints and a photo of the face of arrivals to identify them where they break the law, according to the report. Checks on data sharing are also included in the bill.

The Jerusalem Post notes that a parallel initiative to collect the fingerprints of all citizens was met with heavy opposition while there was no real objection to this bill.

Biometrics could be captured as part of the visa application process meaning a smoother arrival into the country.

Ukraine to collect biometrics for entry visas

From January 1 2022, anyone applying for an entry visa to Ukraine will undergo mandatory biometric capture at the point of application after the Cabinet of Ministers adopted the resolution targeted at foreigners and stateless persons, reports Interfax Ukraine.

A photograph of the face will be taken and all fingerprints collected and stored by the visa system for five years after which they will be destroyed. It will not be required of minors.

Visa applications were the only interaction with foreigners remaining that does not require biometric capture as border control and residence permit applications already involve the process.

Macau proposes biometric capture as part of new immigration law

Macau, the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, has included in the draft of a new immigration law the ability of the authorities to collect biometric data of those entering and leaving the territory ‘when necessary,’ reports TDM Radio.

The draft indicates that the Public Security Police Force can require the collecting of biometric data to confirm the identity of people crossing the border and which would be limited to finger and palm prints, iris recognition and facial scans. It is not yet clear in the latest draft whether the provision extends to minors.

The territory’s concept of ‘habitual residence,’ defined in 1999, may also change to encompass those who regularly travel there to study, work or do business even if they do not stay overnight. Large numbers of people cross back and forth between China, Macau and Hong Kong on a daily basis, including to attend school.

The bill will go to the Legislative Assembly (AL) for further debate and vote.

It recently emerged in neighboring Hong Kong that the two SARs are in talks with counterparts in mainland China on the interoperability of their digital ID platforms.

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