U.S. updates visa waiver program with new biometric capabilities

The Obama administration has made some key changes to the visa waiver program (VWP), including more effective tracking of past travel, fines for any airlines that fail to verify passport information, and helping other countries screen refugees and offer border security, according to a report by NPR. The program allows registered travelers from 38 participating countries including France, Belgium and other European countries, to travel to the U.S. without a visa. The past couple of months have brought promising reports

IDGA discusses biometrics with Lee Bowes of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Acting Deputy Chief Mr. Lee Bowes currently is assisting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in developing strategies that focus on more person-centric aspects of identity management and data usage. Below he gives his perspective on the biometrics division, which over just this year collected biometrics on 3.8 million individuals across 138 domestic sites and many international locations. On January 25 to 27, 2016, in Washington D.C, Mr. Bowes will be speaking at the Biometrics for Government & Law Enforcement

Russia to begin fingerprinting immigrants at border points

Russia will be implementing a biometric border management solution at all migrant entry points starting next year to prevent repeated entries by people who have previously been refused entrance. Fingerprinting all immigrants seeking entry “… will help detect foreigners who try to sneak into the country using a new name after they were denied entry,” a source in the Federal Migration Service told the Russian Izvestia newspaper. However, the source added, “it is unclear whether this measure will be applied

EAB workshop on biometrics for border control at Border Security 2016

The European Association for Biometrics (EAB) will host a workshop addressing ‘Biometrics For Border Control: Impact of Immigration and the Mobile Society’ on February 16, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza St Peter’s Hotel & Spa in Rome, Italy. The half-day meeting will provide a detailed overview of the current use of biometrics as a part of border control, insights on current trends and standards, various needs for biometrics at borders, benefits they can provide, and potential opportunities for further development.

EC urges Ireland to implement biometrics in residence permits for third country nationals

The European Commission is urging the Irish government to fulfil its obligation to implement biometric identifiers in the residence permits for third country nationals. The request comes more than three years after the May 20, 2012 deadline set by EU law, which Ireland has yet to fufill. The reasoned opinion is included as part of the EU’s 115 key decisions as laid out in its September infringements package. The EU has requested Ireland to ensure that biometric identifiers — including

Australian Immigration plans to implement new biometric border clearance system

Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection is moving ahead with its plan to overhaul the customs and border process for incoming and departing travellers by introducing a new solution, according to a report by IT News for Australian Business. Last July, the then-Customs service – which is now part of the Department of Immigration – announced it was hoping to implement a new border clearance system to provide a faster process for processing legitimate travellers and more effective flagging

South Africa to implement biometric regulations for India visa application

South Africa will implement biometric regulations for India’s visa applicants by the end of the year, as soon as it develops the proper infrastructure, according to a report by The Financial Express. The new regulations comes as South Africa showed relatively unchanged tourism numbers from India during last year’s e-bola outbreak in West Africa and terrorist attacks in the East. “This year we will be introducing new visa regulations,” said Malusi Gigaba, minister of home affairs for South Africa. “Firstly,

IOM deploys biometric verification project to help displaced people in Congo

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) recently began its biometric verification exercise of internally displaced people (IDPs) during food assistance in displacement sites in the North Kivu province in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The initiative, which began in February, is designed to boost accountability and curb identity fraud due to nearly 80 percent of adults living in Nzulo, Buhimba and Shasha having no form of identity documents. To resolve these issues, IOM launched a biometric registration

UK immigration introduces new rules regarding biometrics

The UK government announced its new rules for managing fingerprints, facial images and biometric information, which will be enforced beginning April 6, according to a report by Expat Forum. It will now be mandatory for all individuals who are registering or naturalising as a British Citizen to submit their biometric information as part of their application. This includes non-European Economic Area nationals applying for a residence card, derivative residence card or permanent residence card. According to UK immigration officials, the

New automated passport control kiosks from SITA go live at New York airport

In an effort to provide a quick and smooth experience customs immigration process for passengers, 41 new Automated Passport Control self-service kiosks from SITA have gone live at JetBlue’s new international arrivals hall extension at Terminal 5 at JFK International Airport in New York. Airports, airlines and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have collaborated to roll out of automated kiosks in phases to deal with the rapid growth in the number of passengers taking international flights, which the International Air