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Russian Upper House approves bill on biometric foreign passports with fingerprints

December 18, 2013, 18:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The Federation Council ( Upper House)on Wednesday has approved a bill on entering data about a foreign passport owner's fingerprints which shall be added to the passport owner's biometric data. The bill is to come into force as of January 1, 2015. Following the resolution passed by the Upper House corresponding amendments shall be made to the federal bill "On the order of exit from and entry into the Russian Federation."

The bill envisages that a foreign passport, which confirms the identity of a citizen beyond the territory of the Russian Federation, should be provided with an electronic chip with the passport owner's biometric data, taken after the passport's owner reaches the age of 12, and include the passport owner's fingerprints with scanned lines on the passport holder's index fingers or other fingers.

The federal bodies of their executive power, their territorial departments, diplomatic missions and the Russian consulates are authorized to scan the fingerprints data. The data obtained as a result of scanning a passport owner's fingers is to remain on the passport electronic chip only, but shall be removed from the scanner's data base.

The bill was drafted, taking into account the experience of EU countries which include information about the owners of travel documents into the electronic chip of the document, said First deputy chief of the Federal Migration Service Yekaterina Yegorova.

The fingerprints are taken by scanning lines on the index fingers of both hands and then putting the data into the microchip. If scanning the index fingers is impossible the fingerprints are taken by scanning either the middle fingers or thumbs, Yegorova added.

The Federal Migration Service has already launched issuance of foreign passports with fingerprints. Russian citizens have foreign passports of three kinds, including a passport with biometric data, but no fingerprints, a passport with biometric data with fingerprints included, and ordinary passports with no biometric data. " We expect to include fingerprints into the biometric passports since 2015, " Yegorova said,

An ordinary passport with no biometric data will be issued as before because it is cheaper, which is important for a certain category of citizens, Yegorova added.

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