August 18th, 2006 08:08 EST
US VISIT Deploys Biometric Entry Procedures to Additional Locations
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today the expansion of the US VISIT program’s biometric entry procedures to additional locations in Fresno, Calif., New Orleans, La., and Halifax, N.S., Canada, as follows:
- Due to a significant increase in international arrivals, Fresno Yosemite International Airport in Fresno, Calif., will begin biometric screening on August 15, 2006.
- The recently constructed Erato Street Cruise Terminal in New Orleans, La., will begin biometric screening on October 15, 2006.
- The new pre flight inspection location at Halifax International Airport in Halifax, N.S., Canada, will become the eighth pre flight location in Canada to use US VISIT biometric screening. The start date will be posted on the DHS Web site (www.dhs.gov/us-visit).
US VISIT’s biometric entry procedures – digital, inkless finger scans and digital photograph – are a part of the routine primary inspection process at airports and seaports with international arrivals, in the secondary inspection areas of U.S. land border ports of entry and at U.S. consulates around the world – through the State Department’s complementary program called BioVisa.
No changes will be made to the US-VISIT process or to the classifications of travelers subject to US-VISIT as the result of this expansion. US VISIT currently applies to most visitors (with limited exemptions) entering the United States, regardless of country of origin or whether they are traveling with or without a visa or by air, sea or land. US-VISIT does not apply to most Canadian travelers.
Since the program launched in 2004, more than 62 million people have been processed through US VISIT at U.S. ports of entry. With the help of US-VISIT biometric procedures, more than 1,200 criminals or immigration violators have been denied entry to the United States.
Experience has shown that the US-VISIT process is simple, fast and clean for travelers. In fact, at many land border ports of entry, the introduction of US VISIT procedures has led to reduced processing times in secondary inspection.
For more information, visit the US VISIT Web site at www.dhs.gov/us-visit.
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: Media Services, 202-298-5200