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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Using Facial Recognition Technology at John F. Kennedy International Airport

Travelers coming to the U.S. may encounter a new security feature during their passport check process if arriving through the John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York. The new security check includes facial recognition technology that compares the image stored on the traveler’s electronic passport (ePassport), to the image of the traveler taken during the passport inspection upon arriving in the U.S. The image taken at the time of inspection is deleted, unless further action is required regarding the traveler.

The process applies to some first-time Visa Waiver Program/ESTA travelers and returning U.S. citizens holding an ePassport. The U.S. began issuing ePassports exclusively since August 2007. Therefore, the large majority of U.S. citizens already hold ePassports. Non-electronic U.S. passports issued prior to August 2007 may still be used until they expire.

The new facial recognition technology was first introduced at the Washington Dulles International Airport in 2015 and was later extended to the JFK International Airport in New York in January 2016.

For additional information regarding U.S. travel, please contact Raluca (Luca) Vais-Ottosen at (608) 252-9291 or rvo@dewittllp.com, or contact your existing DeWitt attorney.

About the Author

Raluca Vais-Ottosen has assisted numerous clients with Immigration matters ranging from family-based and individual Immigration applications, to employment related visas and I-9 employment eligibility verification issues. In addition to her Immigration practice, she also has an extensive background in Employment Law. She assists companies in a number of areas, including but not limited to claims of workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation, termination and constructive discharge, workplace investigations by State and Federal agencies, as well as Employment Litigation.

Contact Luca by email or by phone at (608) 252-9291.

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