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Countries with Bad Border Policies

If you know of any other countries that systematically do something nasty to all or most visitors, please let me know (email rms at gnu dot org). Likewise, if your personal experience indicates any of this information is inaccurate, please tell me.

Kuwait demands DNA samples from all visitors. Surely you can find a way to avoid going there.

Certain countries demand the fingerprints of visitors. These are the US, Argentina, Uruguay, Panama, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Ghana, Uganda, and Saudi Arabia. Don't stand for such treatment — refuse to go!

Be careful about transfer flights through these countries, too. Sometimes transfer passengers are required to "enter the country" and give their fingerprints. (International transfers in the US are such a hassle, in other ways, that even US citizens would do well to choose other routes.)

Passport control at Uganda's Entebbe airport demands fingerprints from some travelers when they leave. It is especially nasty to pop this demand on people departing, since that deprives them of the chance to avoid it by staying away.

In Feb 2015 I got a report that Cambodia did not take fingerprints from a visitor entering from Laos.

Argentina does not take fingerprints of people entering or leaving by land. It does take fingerprints of passengers in the Buquebus going to or from Uruguay.

China demands fingerprints from foreigners.

Indonesia has started taking fingerprints of visitors at some airports. An Australian visitor who got a visa on arrival reported this in Medan. At present (February 2012) this may not be in effect in all airports, but be careful before you go.

The United Arab Emirates takes iris scans of every visitor. In one way, this is not as bad as fingerprints, because you don't leave iris prints on things you touch. However, there is a concern that iris scans could be used to recognize people automatically as they move on the street. Thus, I urge people to refuse to allow their irises to be scanned by anyone, ever.

Japan demands an iris scan, too, in some cases. I do not know details.

Kenya is reported to take fingerprints of some visitors on the way in, and others (maybe everyone) on the way out.

Tanzania is now requiring fingerprinting when entering and exiting the country via air and land.

Yerevan airport takes fingerprints of departing passengers. Therefore, if you visit Armenia, don't fly out of Armenia. Go overland to Georgia and leave from there.

The UK is going to check fingerprints of visitors, but only for those that were required to give their fingerprints when applying for a visa. Two fingerprint checks are not much worse than one; but just one is enough reason for the affected people to refuse to go to that country.

Canada demands fingerprints from people entering with a visa.

It is not hard to alter fingerprints. It is too much trouble and expense to do for no particular reason, but if it really matters to you, it is perfectly feasible.

A resistance movement in the 1980s eliminated mandatory fingerprinting in Japan.

Now the job has to be done over again.

Copyright (c) 2009-2017 Richard Stallman Released under CC Attribution 4.0 license.