China's top legislature on Monday began to deliberate a draft law on exit and entry administration, which aims to cope with the surging overseas visits by Chinese and the influx of foreigners.
The draft, in all 8 chapters and 90 articles, makes stipulations mainly on the exit and entry of Chinese and foreign citizens, the stay and employment of foreigners in China, and punishment for violations.
The State Council, or the cabinet, submitted it to the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee for its first reading.
China promulgated two separate laws on the administration of exit and entry of Chinese citizens and foreigners in 1985. However, the laws have lagged behind the times, said Yang Huanning, vice minister of the public security, in a report to the legislature.
The remarkable influx of foreigners has brought about opportunities for China's economic and social development but also challenges to state security and social management, Yang said.
The illegal entry, residence and employment of foreigners have developed into a serious problem, so there must be measures to improve administration, Yang said.
The draft allows the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make requirements on the collection of human biological identifying information, such as fingerprints, from people who are entering or leaving the country.
"Fingerprints collection involves the basic rights of Chinese citizens and foreigners, so it must be done in accordance with law," Yang said.
The draft law will also improve the visa and residence management, the official said.