Foreign travelers arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago must now submit 10 fingerprints and have a photograph taken before entering the United States as part of the US-VISIT program, reports Chicagotribune.com.
Under the new system, foreigners going through U.S. Customs booths at O'Hare must give digital prints of all 10 fingers and take a photo for a growing Homeland Security database of information on visitors to the U.S.
The system is an upgrade from the index fingerprint and photo standard that has been in place since 2003, when DHS launched the US-VISIT program to record the entry and exit of foreign travelers.
Visitors between the ages of 14 and 79 who have applied for a visa or display a foreign passport at a port of entry must submit to the heightened security protocols. The fingerprints taken will then be compared against FBI and DHS databases filled with known criminals, illegal aliens, and known or suspected terrorists.
The fingerprinting process should take no longer than 30 seconds, and according to the report, most visitors were unfazed by the experience. Still, some did experience problems. Valerie Lau, from Singapore, had to wait as one man was scanned three times before the fingerprinting device captured all of his digits. Another individual, Rumy Kanga of India, was not asked for all ten of his fingerprints. He did not have a special waiver.
O'Hare is just the latest airport to revamp its fingerprinting collection to all ten fingers. As Today's Headlines reported last month, all airports will require foreign visitors to submit ten fingerprints by the end of 2008.