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France to fingerprint for tourist visas

Published on 18/12/2003

PARIS, Dec 17 (AFP) - From next year, France is to ask visitors from certain countries to supply fingerprints before they will be issued visas, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy announced Wednesday.

Sarkozy, responding to a question in the parliament, said the measure would allow those staying in France illegally to be identified more quickly. He did not say which countries’ citizens would be affected.

He noted that the move to putting “biometric” information – fingerprints and face-scans – on visas and passports in 2005 had been agreed at a meeting of British, French, Germany, Spanish and Italian interior ministers in October, and said that France merely wanted to implement the initiative a year early.

 © AFP

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