Visa boost to coincide with tighter border controls

Published by June 27, 2007

In return for a rise in the number of H1B visas issued to foreigners seeking work in the USA, border controls will be stepped up to include biometric checks.

Ten airports across the States will require overseas arrivals to provide digital fingerprints later this year as part of a pilot scheme.

As security is tightened, checks may expand to include facial and eye retina scans, according to the operations director of the Department of Homeland Security’s US-Visit programme, P T Wright.

Travellers arriving to work in the USA under the Visa Waiver Program, as well as all other arrivals requiring visas, will be expected to participate in the pilot initiative.

Boston Logan, Chicago O’Hare, George Bush Intercontinental, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Miami, New York JFK, Orlando, San Francisco and Washington Dulles airports will be involved in the trial.

Foreigners arriving to work in the USA will be extended the same privacy laws as citizens, should they have their biometric information stored, Mr Wright said.

Contributed by J.Bevan