18:09 GMT +316 October 2018
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    MOSCOW, January 20 (RIA Novosti) - The demand of the US government to visa applicants to give biometrics (fingerprints) did not have serious influence on the level of foreign tourism to the USA, US Consul General to Russia, James Pettit told journalists on Tuesday.

    According to him, fingerprints are first scanned in the US Embassy to Moscow and then on border checkpoints in America.

    Strict regulations of the granting of US visas are explained not only by the fight against international terrorism, the consul said. There is little control and no registration in the county, therefore visa regulations are rather strict, he noted.

    In 2003, 20 percent of US visas were refused, Pettit told journalists. Last year the US Embassy to Moscow received 100,000 visa applications and granted some 80,000 visas, he added.

    According to the consul general, if an applicant is refused a US visa he has the right to get a written explanation of the US Embassy. The right to refuse a visa does not contradict democracy. If a person is refused a visa it does not mean that he will be refused it next time, the consul said.

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