Singapore to scan all travelers’ thumbprints

By Manh Tung, Dam Tuan   April 19, 2016 | 12:58 am PT
All travelers to Singapore will soon be required to scan their thumbprints at air, land and sea immigration checkpoints each time they arrive and depart from Singapore to tighten security.

Glenn Koh, area director for the Singapore Tourism Board said that from April 20, Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will deploy a new security system known as BioScreeen to capture foreign visitors and Singaporeans' thumbprints at arrival and departure checkpoints.

With BioScreen, travellers aged six and above using the manned counters at immigration checkpoints will be required to scan both their thumbprints on arrival and departure. 


Singapore will deploy the new security system BioScreen from April 20. Photo by Singapore Immigration Checkpoints Authority

According to Glenn Koh, this regulation will enable the ICA to reinforce its verification of the identities of travelers and Singapore’s border security.

The implementation of BioScreen aims to minimize counterfeit or stolen passports, and verify visitors with similar names.

Singapore's citizens and long-term foreign residents who have been using the enhanced Immigration Automated Clearance System (eIACS) or automated clearance lanes for departure or arrival at the airport will not be affected by the implementation of BioScreen.

Travelers may experience slightly longer (from four to five minutes) initial immigration clearance times at checkpoints, but it will be more convenient and faster the next time they pass through immigration, said the ICA.

“The ICA expects to start scanning travelers’ thumbprints at airport checkpoints in June this year,” Glenn Koh said.

According to the representative of the Singapore Tourism Board, the total number of Vietnamese travelers to Singapore in the first three months increased 12.3 percent compared with the same period last year.

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