All foreigners entering the country will undergo biometric scanning starting in the new year to combat terrorism and prevent threats to national security, said immigration officials.

According to the Korea Immigration Service on Monday, foreigners aged 17 or older will undergo fingerprint and facial scanning upon entering the county starting Jan. 1.

The program started scanning those from countries deemed high-risk by the KIS in September 2010, and has since expanded to include all foreigners choosing long-term stay here.

However, the program excludes minors, diplomatic officials and other foreign government officials. Registered foreigners currently in the country will also be exempt.

Biometric scanning will be conducted in 11 different languages including English, Chinese and Japanese.

The process potentially could double the amount of time that it takes to pass through immigration...