Which Countries Require Biometric Passport

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Which Countries Require a Biometric Passport?

If you have a biometric passport, aka an e-passport, you’ll need to present this when applying for visas in the following countries.

This is largely due to having large police-accessible biometric databases, no data protection laws and extensive use of facial recognition CCTV. It’s also a key country for entering Europe via the EU’s visa waiver program.

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United States

A biometric passport is a new type of travel document that offers high levels of protection against fraud, theft and cloning. It also allows you to use automated ePassport gates at border control.

The US requires travelers entering via its visa waiver program to have a biometric passport. The US also has a data protection law and some safeguards for employee monitoring.

United Kingdom

The UK has been using ePassports since 2006. Those who travel to the US under their ESTA visa waiver program must have a biometric passport or risk being refused entry at the eGates.

Uganda scores a half point for having data protection laws that safeguard the use of biometrics and not requiring facial recognition CCTV on arrival. The country also has a centralized database and checks against criminal records.


Biometric passports are becoming a necessity across the globe. They offer increased security and fraud prevention.

You need to have a biometric passport to travel to Europe on the Visa Waiver Program. You also need to have one if you want to enter the United States.

You will need to provide your biometrics in person at a Canada-authorized Visa Application Centre abroad.


The passport is a very useful document for travelers as it offers advanced security features. These include a chip, digital imaging and fingerprints.

The fifth-best passport scores well for having no biometric requirements upon entering and no large databases with police access, but it loses points for having a weak data protection law and growing use of facial recognition CCTV.

The first stage of the program will collect facial images and fingerprint scans from visa applicants who apply at Australian missions abroad. The information is kept on secure Department of Immigration databases and can only be accessed by authorised officers.

New Zealand

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) uses biometrics in the visa application, travel authority and risk management processes. It also collects facial biometric data for identity resolution purposes and aims to use this information to combat identity fraud.

New Zealand passport holders have been urged to apply for their renewals before a likely rush as the country begins easing border restrictions. Those with ePassports can go through automated eGates expeditiously.


German passports have a hidden chip that stores a digital photo and fingerprints. This will allow officials to verify the identity of travelers entering the country, Focus Online reports.

The new passports will also include a digital scan of the holder's left and right index fingers. Supporters say the technology will prevent forgery and make it easier to identify suspects.

Germany is one of the first nations in Europe to introduce the biometric passport. Its burgundy red design is similar to those of other EU passports.


Whether you live in the Netherlands or travel frequently to Europe, it is important that your passport meets Schengen requirements. You can find out about those requirements by checking your Burgerservicenummer (BSN) on the personal details page of your passport.

China scores a point for its large biometric database that the police can access, and for its extensive facial recognition use in CCTV cameras.


All passports issued in France contain digital biometric data, including fingerprints. So if you lose one or two fingers it’s not possible to travel.

ePassports, as they are called, speed up the process at immigration checks because officials can simply scan your chip. They also offer protection against fraud. But the downside is privacy concerns.


The biometric passport allows border control officials to double-check travelers against criminal and terrorist databases. It also speeds up immigration checks.

The top scorer in this category is Luxembourg, which has a data protection law and offers some safeguards for facial recognition. The bottom scorer is Saudi Arabia, which has no privacy laws and uses facial recognition on a massive scale.


Italy is a member of the Schengen area and has implemented a number of e-gates at its airports. This allows EU, EEA and Swiss citizens to travel through the Italian border without needing to present any additional documents.

It also offers dual citizenship and its citizens have visa-free or visa on arrival access to 149 countries. It scores highly for protecting its citizens’ biometric data, with laws in place to prevent the implementation of facial recognition CCTV.

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