What foreign nationals would get fingerprinted at the passport control kiosks? Specifically all the major western nations. Have you ever been asked as a foreign national (specifically non-EU national in the case of EU countries)?

Reason for this question: I have yet to go through one of the kiosks since they went out and I'm just reluctant at the thought of giving out (even just for verification purposes) my fingerprints. No ill will intended.

  • To fill in the gaps in your questions, is this with regard to the proposed Schengen Entry/Exit System (EES)? travel-europe.europa.eu/ees/…
    – origimbo
    Mar 22 at 17:32
  • I have been through kiosks in the UK and the Netherlands and nothing but passport and face to the camera has been asked.
    – Willeke
    Mar 22 at 17:37
  • @origimbo No, but in general Mar 22 at 18:02
  • Could you clarify why this is a concern? Do you wish to avoid sharing your fingerprint data and thus want to avoid such destinations?
    – JonathanReez
    Mar 23 at 19:05

3 Answers 3


Generally, the kiosks would ask for the same details as the human would at the initial encounter. I don't think they collect fingerprints in the EU (at least not as far as I can remember from my recent trips), but in the US they do - and you'd provide fingerprints both in the kiosks and to the CBP officers. Similarly in China, you provide fingerprints in the automated system (if I remember correctly - before even getting to the border checks).

  • Given the context of the original question, it might be worth noting that the biometric passports of many nations (though not the UK or US, among other dissenters) include data on either some or all fingerprints, so many western travellers are providing a copy of their fingerprints already (or at least, those of the person they stole the passport from).
    – origimbo
    Mar 22 at 19:12

What foreign nationals would get fingerprinted at the passport control kiosks?

When the Entry/Exit System (EES) is introduced (now expected in 2024), those who have not yet been registered (or their data needs updating) into the EES system must be fingerprinted as part of the data being stored in the system.

Article 8a (4) 'Use of self-service systems for pre-enrolling data in the EES' of REGULATION (EU) 2017/2226 (Entry/Exit System (EES)) describes the proccess.

Article 6a (3) 'Third-country nationals for whom data are to be entered in the EES' contains a list of persons who will be exempt from the recording of their data into the EES system, mainly those who's fingerprints have already been collected elsewhere:

  • Short term Visa holders, type C (contained in the VIS system)
  • Long term visa holders, type D (contained in the VIS system)
  • Residence permit/card holders (contained in the card)

The actual checking of the fingerprints is part of the fallback system if the facial recognition (for what ever reason) fails inside the passport control kiosks.



Singapore, for one. But then again they fingerprint and take photos at manual counters too. They started to "offer" (read: force) citizens of a lot of countries the use of automated immigration gates in 2023, and when I had to use them late 2023, they didn't work so well. 5 attempts each on entry and exit, all failed. ICA officers were displeased, but what can I do...

Hong Kong. Residents need to give their thumbs' thumbprints for their HKID, used at the eChannel. Visitors who are eligible to register for the eChannel for frequent visitors give their index fingers' thumbprints. Enrolment is voluntary.

Permanent residents of HK and Macao can enter the other SAR with their ID card, after registering their ID card with the other SAR, passing along their photo and fingerprints. Again, that's voluntary. And they can apply for Mainland China's eGates too.

There's a trusted travelers system in Japan, voluntary and not so easy to get, that requires fingerprints too.

  • "5 attempts each on entry and exit, all failed": do you actually mean the facial recognition failed, no way? Mar 24 at 12:56
  • @thisisreallyrandom people seem to think that facial recognition must be magically accurate because it is performed by a computer. Computers are not infallible, much less computer systems developers, and facial recognition is consequently imperfect. Look for example at the overturned convictions based on facial recognition. But there's nothing in this statement to indicate that the facial recognition failed; it's possible that something else failed, such as reading the NFC chip.
    – phoog
    Mar 24 at 13:16
  • It was either the facial recognition or the fingerprints. From my personal record with such systems, I'd bet fingerprints. I often have issues, especially in Mainland China, and sometimes HK, with fingerprints (very dry fingers). Whereas with facial recognition (France, Germany, HK so far), no issues. It wasn't the passport's itself, since it wasn't rejected. It was my biometrics that failed. Took a few takes at the manual counter too.
    – dda
    Mar 24 at 15:31
  • @thisisreallyrandom And yeah, 5 tries on entry, 5 tries on exit, all failed.
    – dda
    Mar 24 at 15:32
  • Singapore uses both facial recognition and fingerprints. If you're enrolled already (through previous entry, or enrollment with ICA) the facial recognition fails, they ask you to place your finger(s) on the pad.
    – MJeffryes
    Mar 25 at 10:50

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