Card to speed immigration check may be more widely available
(San Diego Union And Tribune; 09/20/98)
The quick passage through immigration control that is now used by business
travelers at six airports may soon be open to leisure travelers who re-enter
the country at least three times a year. The electronic recognition system
gives the green light to an enrolled passenger in 15 to 20 seconds; 70,000
business travelers are enrolled now. The system, which reads a plastic card,
then recognizes a traveler's hand inserted in a kiosk that looks like an ATM,
is in operation at international terminals at John F. Kennedy, Newark, Miami,
Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver.
Immigration offices at these airports approve business travelers for a free one-
year certification to use the system, which is called Inspass: Immigration and
Naturalization Service Accelerated Service System. Inspass is free now, but
Thomas Andreotta of the Immigration Service says that eventually there will be
a charge for it.
San Francisco will soon join the list of Inspass airports; in 1999, Honolulu,
Seattle and Washington Dulles will, too. After that will come, not necessarily
in this order: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston,
Minneapolis and Montreal.
Citizens of Canada, Bermuda and 26 other countries in the Visa Waiver Pilot
Program who enter the United States regularly may also qualify for Inspass.
Steps to open it to other frequent travelers are planned for next year. The
goal is to speed through travelers who are considered low risk so the
Immigration staff can concentrate on the rest. Application information is
available from the INS offices at the six airports. INS form I-823 can also be
obtained from the Internet: www.usdoj.gov/ins/forms.