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April 3rd, 2004

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01:28 pm
According to this Reuters story, the US is going to start photographing and fingerprinting just about everyone who enters the country, extending the suspicious-foreigner treatment even to visitors from the "visa waiver" nations like Britain, Australia and Japan.

What puzzles me is: supposedly, this policy is being implemented because those nations aren't shifting over fast enough to the use of passports with "biometric features" (fingerprints and other identifying marks). But as far as I can tell, the US isn't shifting over to biometric passports, either: nothing at the State Department's passport-renewal page suggests that you need to give them your fingerprints, for example.

Has anyone here recently gotten (or updated) a US passport? Are your fingerprints now required as part of the application?

In the absence of such evidence, it appears that we're (yet again) holding the rest of the world to a tougher standard than ourselves. Lovely. So I can freely enter the US without hassle using my non-biometric US passport, but if I enter on my non-biometric Australian passport, it's fingerprinting/photography time.

But then, I suppose no-one with a US passport would ever do anything bad, right? Riiiiiiiight?

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:April 3rd, 2004 12:02 pm (UTC)


Well, I need to update my passport now so I guess I'll find out.

BTW, my boss tried to enter the country from Japan under a tourist visa. He got turned away from Detroit and made a 44 hour loop back to Japan. No one here in the US office is entirely sure why, but it means that our next company meeting is in Montreal...
[User Picture]
Date:April 4th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC)
As of two years ago when I renewed mine, there were no fingerprints on passports. I don't think anything has changed since then either.

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