SIBA Backs Proposed Security Changes to Visa Waiver Program; Michael Dougherty Comments

biometricsThe Secure Identity & Biometrics Association has said it supports the Obama administration’s proposed changes to the Visa Waiver Program in an effort to improve border security measures amid the rise of Islamic State fighters, Biometric Update reported Monday.

“In order to preserve the benefits of visa-free travel, which is worth billions of dollars to our economy, the U.S. will need to further adapt and strengthen the VWP,” said SIBA CEO Michael Dougherty.

Justin Lee writes the proposed updates to VWP include refugee screening assistance to other countries, past travel monitoring and implementation of fines for airlines that fail to validate information on travelers’ passports.

SIBA also cited the inclusion of travelers’ biometrics data and other information into electronic passports through embedded chips.

Dougherty noted that the International Civil Aviation Organization plans to establish electronic input of visa information and travel stamps onto the chips of e-passports by 2016.

The VWP aims to allow travelers from 38 Schengen area-based countries to visit the U.S. without a visa, Lee reports.

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