State Duma Considers Fingerprinting Migrants in Bid Against Crime

Citizens from visa-free regimes like CIS countries do not get fingerprinted until applying for a work permit, something many never do. Igor Tabakov

The State Duma is expected to consider a bill obliging foreigners from countries with a visa-free regime with Russia and stateless persons to get fingerprinted upon entering the country and upon their exit, Interfax reported Tuesday.

The proposed legislation is reportedly a reaction to calls for stricter control of illegal migrants from the North Caucasus republics of Russia as well as the South Caucasus and  Central Asia, suspected of committing law violations and crimes.

Under the current legislation, migrants from these countries are only fingerprinted once they apply for a work permit, which allows illegal migrants to "live in the shadows," the bill's author, A Just Russia deputy Oleg Nilov, said in a note attached to the bill.

The date for a first reading has not been set.

Apart from CIS and Central Asia, countries whose nationals are allowed to enter Russia without a visa are: Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Venezuela, Israel, Columbia, Cuba, Macedonia, Nicaragua, Peru, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, Montenegro and Chile.

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