Explore the happenings of the Asian Community in Duluth, Johns Creek, and Suwanee.

Biometric Data to Replace Document Checks at Incheon Airport

Biometric data will soon do away with the need for travelers to have their passport and boarding pass checked repeatedly at airports.

The fiddly checks will be replaced with fingerprints and facial scans to shorten the departure process and improve airport security.

Incheon International Airport said Sunday that it will start a pilot project early next year with a view to launching the service in 2020.

During the pilot period, passengers will not have to show their passport and boarding pass when they enter the departure lounge, pass through the security checkpoint, and board the plane if they register their biometric data at check-in counters.

They will still have to show their passports at immigration.

Meanwhile, some 10,000 foreigners stayed on illegally since they entered the country under a visa waiver during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Seoul permitted a visa-free, 90-day temporary stay to promote tourism during the Olympics from Feb. 9-25.

Some 351,739 foreigners took advantage of the waiver, according to a Justice Ministry report released by Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Jun Hee-kyung last week. And about 11,635 or 3.3 percent of them were still here illegally as of May 31.

They came from 135 countries, the biggest groups from Japan with 92,402, Taiwan with 54,010, Hong Kong with 39,120 and China with 38,375.

Many of the over-stayers are migrant workers who came looking for jobs or asylum seekers.

“The government failed to make any preparation for such an influx of illegal aliens when it decided to permit foreigners to enter without a visa,” Jun said. “And urgent response is needed, including tracking down illegal immigrants.”

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