As it works to secure and modernize international travel, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has completed the introduction of biometric facial comparison technology at all international airports across the country. Simplified Arrival is an enhanced arrival process designed to fulfill a Congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens.
Through the system, foreign travelers who have previously traveled to the U.S. may no longer need to provide fingerprints. Instead, their identity will be confirmed through the touchless facial biometric process, which while under development before Covid was ramped up to meet the demand for touchless identification during the pandemic.
When a traveler arrives at a U.S. international airport, they will pause for a photo at the primary inspection point. A CBP officer will review the travel document and retrieve the traveler’s passport or visa photo from government holdings and compare it to the new photo. U.S. travelers and foreign nationals who are not required to provide biometrics and wish to opt-out of the new biometric process can simply notify a CBP officer as they approach the inspection point.
“I am very proud that CBP accomplished this critical milestone to deploy facial biometrics at entry at all U.S. airports and continues to play a significant role in the travel recovery efforts,” said Diane Sabatino, CBP’s deputy executive assistant commissioner in the office of field operations. “The use of facial biometrics for identity verification brings travelers one step closer to a truly touchless process that is secure and streamlines travel while protecting their privacy and enhancing the customer experience.”