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Released: January 21/09 - US VISIT extended to travelers from Bermuda

U.S. Department of Homeland Security has expanded the categories of non-U.S. citizens required to provide biometrics—digital fingerprints and a photograph—upon entry or re‑entry to the United States through the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US‑VISIT) Program.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will implement new US‑VISIT procedures at L.F. Wade International Airport immediately.  Airports in the United States began January 18, 2009.

Bermudians and most other travelers to the U.S. will be enrolled in U.S. Visit.  No advance registration or paperwork is needed.  U.S. CBP Officers take digital photographs while reviewing a traveler’s passport, and then electronically scan the traveler’s fingertips.  These procedures are not expected to add significant processing time at ports of entry. “We are confident that all U.S.-bound travelers from Bermuda will continue to receive the same excellent, expeditious service from our CBP colleagues at L. F. Wade International Airport,” said Gregory Slayton, U.S. Consul General to Bermuda.

Collection and verification of biometric identifiers upon entry protects travelers by making it virtually impossible for anyone else to attempt to use their biometrically linked travel documents (such as a permanent resident card), if their documents are stolen or duplicated.

US‑VISIT biometric collection requirements apply to most non-U.S. citizens, with limited exemptions, entering the United States regardless of country of origin or whether they are traveling on a visa or by air, sea or land. Non-U.S. citizens under the age of 14 and over the age of 79 are exempt from US-VISIT procedures, as are certain other individuals admitted under specific categories.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s border at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.
US‑VISIT provides biometric identification services to entities throughout the U.S. government. Since US‑VISIT began in 2004, DHS has used biometric identifiers to prevent the use of fraudulent documents, protect visitors from identity theft, and stop thousands of criminals and immigration violators from entering the country.