Russia mulls fingerprinting visa-free travellers
08 November 2017 15:28 GMT

Russia's Interior Ministry is considering plans to make it compulsory to take photographs and fingerprints of all foreign nationals arriving in Russia for a period of more than 30 days from visa-free countries.

Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev told cabinet ministers this week that the country plans to take photographs and fingerprints of all foreigners who arrive in Russia visa-free for a period of more than 30 days.

According to Kolokoltsev, the ministry has already framed several amendments to the current legislation. One of them concerns rules on registering migrants that have remained unchanged for a long time and feed government corruption, while foreign nationals’ real whereabouts remain unknown.

"Several bills are being drawn up, the first of them are aimed at eliminating loopholes to enable fictitious registration," Kolokoltsev said. He said plans are to grant the host country the right to strike migrants off the register once they have left.

Another amendment may embrace some 4,000 foreign nationals staying in Russia who have not defined their legal status. "A draft federal law is underway to introduce a document certifying the identity, which will help sort out the person’s legal status," Kolokoltsev noted.