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Want US visa? Spread fingers

world Updated: May 07, 2007 04:02 IST

AP
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Most foreigners wanting to come to the United States soon will have fingerprints taken for all fingers when applying for United States Visas, the State Department said on Saturday.

Instead of scanning the prints of just two fingers of visa applicants, as is now the case, US Embassies and consulates are beginning to require scans of 81110 digits to better screen out undesirables, the department said on Friday.

"The department is instituting the 10 fingerscan standard to improve our ability to detect and thwart persons ineligible for visas by raising the accuracy rate in matching fingerscans," it said in a notice that was published in Federal Register.

The move is part of tighter Immigration and border control restrictions enacted after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks that initially required scans of only two fingers from visa applicants.

Technological advances now allow for all 10 of an applicant's fingers to be scanned with ease, and devices to do so will be in place at all embassies and consulates by the end of 2007, the department said.