People applying for a residency visa in the UAE will be required to give their fingerprints under stricter efforts to prevent fraud and identity theft, officials said.
In a report by Gulf News, Nasser Al Awadi Al Minhali, acting director general of the Federal Naturalisation and Residency Department, said applicants will be required to give their fingerprints to make sure they have no criminal record.
"Starting next month, applicants for residence visa will be fingerprinted under a tighter biometric system to provide more secure identification and prevent fraud," he told the paper.
"Those found to be with criminal records will be denied visa and handed over to the police for further legal action," he said.
"The move will eventually cover all residents in the country, including workers sponsored by their employers, investors, domestic workers and parents of residents," Al Minhali said.
Residents living in the country will be fingerprinted when they apply for renewal of their visa. It is not yet known how much this will cost, but Al Minhali said the fee would be nominal.
A fingerprint database will be set up in Naturalisation and Residency departments across the UAE to ensure only those with "good conduct" or "lack of a criminal record" will be granted residence visa, the paper said.