As of October 1, 2016, the Immigration Services Agency has begun collecting personal identification information (Note 1) using Bio Carts to utilize the time foreign nationals spend waiting for landing examinations. These devices have been installed at 20 ports of entry as of February 1, 2020 (Note 2).
In recent years, the number of foreign nationals visiting Japan has been increasing rapidly. In order to reduce the waiting time at each airport’s landing examination site, a specialized device (known as a "Bio Cart") will be used for the "procedures to obtain personal identification information (fingerprints and photographs) from landing applicants," which used to be done by immigration officers at landing examination booths. Personal identification information will be obtained in advance while the applicant is waiting for their landing examination. The purpose of this is to expedite the immigration procedures for foreign tourists and reduce the workload of immigration officers at the landing examination booths.
Diagram of the landing examination area after the installation of Bio Carts
Foreign National Immigration Officer Operational Assistant
Step 1: At the Bio Cart
Step 2: At the Examination Booth
* "Operational assistant" refers to those who assist landing applicants who are using the Bio Cart to provide their personal identification information (fingerprints and photograph).
The landing applicant will provide fingerprint images by placing both of their index fingers on the scanner of the fingerprint capture device.
* We kindly ask for your understanding in cases where fingerprints cannot be scanned due to severely dry fingers, wheelchair use, or difficult-to-obtain fingerprints. In these cases, procedures will be handled at the landing examination booths.
The Bio Cart takes a photograph of the landing applicant with a facial-recognition camera.
* After providing their fingerprints and photograph, the landing applicant proceeds to the landing examination booth where an immigration officer will confirm the results of the personal identification information verification, ask about the applicant's purpose of entry, and complete the necessary examination procedures.