Friday, April 16, 2010

Bali Airport Fingerprinting for foreign nationals (tourists)

Longer lines of inbound tourists are expected at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport with mandatory fingerprint scanning now in full force. The system, aimed at stepping up security, will only be used on foreign nationals entering the country on short-stay visas.

Rohadi said other foreigners with temporary (Kitas) or permanent (Kitap) residence permits would not need to be fingerprinted because they were already documented. Others exempt from the system include holders of diplomatic passports and children under the age of 14. Short-stay visitors will also be photographed at the airport’s immigration counter, a process that would only take up to two minutes “to minimize their discomfort.”

But the implementation of the new system meant that there would be longer lines at immigration counters. Angkasa Pura’s Ngurah Rai office, said the fingerprint scanners had been set up at 10 of 24 immigration counters at the airport. Ngurah Rai is the fourth airport in the country to adopt the fingerprinting system, after Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Solo. 21 other airports were in line to get the new system by July, as well as five seaports and the Entikong land crossing on the Indonesia-Malaysia border.

Aside from Indonesia, countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and the United States use biometric systems.

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