U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has expanded biometric facial comparison technology at all international airports across the United States under the “Simplified Arrival” process. CBP said that this expansion complements biometric boarding at select departure locations.

Travelers arriving at an international airport will pause for a photo at the primary inspection point. A CBP officer will review and query the travel document, which will retrieve the traveler’s passport or visa photo from government holdings and compare it to the new photo. CBP said the process “takes a few seconds and is more than 98% accurate.”

CBP said that U.S. travelers and foreign nationals who are not required to provide biometrics and wish to opt out of the new biometric process can notify a CBP officer as they approach the primary inspection point. These travelers must present a valid travel document for inspection by a CBP officer and will be processed consistent with existing requirements for admission into the United States.

CBP explained that “Simplified Arrival” is an enhanced international arrival process that uses facial biometrics to automate the manual document checks required for admission into the United States. The process fulfills a Congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens. Foreign travelers who have traveled to the United States previously “may no longer need to provide fingerprints, as their identity will be confirmed through the touchless facial biometric process.” CBP said that more than 171 million travelers have participated in the biometric facial comparison process at air, land, and sea ports of entry.

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