Concerned at the large number of people giving false information to obtain visas for the United States, its embassy in India has decided on tough steps to check visa fraud, including taking "fingerprints of all 10 digits".
"The US Mission is alarmed by the rush of clearly unqualified visa applicants in recent weeks. A significant number of applicants are relying on incorrect information and are using false documents to support their applications," US Consul General Peter Kaestner told reporters at the Press Club here on Wednesday.
He said it had decided on tough steps to curb visa fraud and while biometric samples and electronic images of a person's face were already being taken besides two fingerprints, "fingerprints of all 10 digits will now be taken to make it impossible for anybody to cheat to get a visa".
Replying to a question on the recent case of alleged involvement of some MPs in human trafficking, Kaestner said they had strict procedures in place to detect such fraud.
"Only a few months back, we had this gentleman who pretended to be from the Congress party and gave us false documents to obtain a visa but he was caught," he said.
He said from October 2005 to September 2006, 4.6 lakh visa applications had been processed while between October 2006 and September 2007, they were expecting the figure to jump to 7 lakh.