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Wed 5 Nov 2014 11:36 AM

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Saudi to introduce mandatory fingerprinting for expats

Female expats in the kingdom also will soon be required to have their biometric data recorded

Saudi to introduce mandatory fingerprinting for expats
Image for illustrative purposes only.

All expats aged over 15 years old in Saudi Arabia will be fingerprinted under new regulations, the state news agency has said.

Expatriate women also must now have biometric data recorded in order to obtain an exit and re-entry visa, change their profession or transfer their passport information. Saudi women already have their data recorded when they leave the country under strict regulations that control their ability to travel abroad.

The changes are effective from January 21, while the female biometric data will be collected from November 23, the General Directorate of Passports told the Saudi News Agency.

“After this date, no passport services will be offered to expatriate men and women who did not record their biometric data with the directorate,” spokesman Ahmad Al Laheedan said.

There are an estimated 9 million expats in the kingdom, which has a total population of about 27 million.

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