Permanent legal residents of the United States will be subjected to a fingerprint check when they re-enter the country by land, sea or air.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says the new security checks are part of an existing program (US-VISIT) that keeps track of visitors as they enter or leave the United States, and screens out criminals and potential terrorists.
The acting director of the program, Robert Mocny, says at least 1,100 criminals have been captured at U.S. ports of entry.
The new fingerprinting rules will affect 11 million to 12 million green-card holders. It also will apply to Canadians entering the country for an extended period of time, such as workers or students.
The new requirements will take effect late next month.