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News U.S. visitors can use.

Britian, France, Japan, and other Visa Waiver Program countries have received some welcomed news: The deadline for biometric, or machine-readable, passports for travelers entering the United States has been extended. The Senate and House passed and the president signed legislation that extends the deadline by one year. The extension--supported by the Travel Business Round-table, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge--was deemed necessary after reports from most of the 27 Visa Waiver Program countries that the technological challenges of producing the computer-chip-embedded passports were too great to be met by the original October 26, 2004, deadline.

In related news, the Department of Homeland Security announced upcoming expansions to its US-VISIT departure program. The program, which currently serves 115 airports and 14 seaports, requires foreign visitors to the United States to be finger-scanned before leaving the country. This month the program will be extended to 11 additional air and seaports. All foreign visitors traveling on a visa are required to comply. And after September 30, travelers from Visa Waiver Program countries will be included as well.
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Title Annotation:Headlines
Publication:Association Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Sep 1, 2004
Words:179
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