Bush extends passport requirementsfor certain countries

11th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

11 August 2004 , WASHINGTON - US President George W. Bush extended the deadline requiring certain countries to issue passports with biometric data, the State Department said. The one-year delay to 26 October, 2005, aims to avoid a disruption of travel to the United States and allow the 27 countries more time to develop the programme to store the data on the passports, department spokesman Adam Ereli said. Citizens from those countries are allowed to enter the United States and stay for up to 90 days withou

 11 August 2004

WASHINGTON - US President George W. Bush extended the deadline requiring certain countries to issue passports with biometric data, the State Department said.

The one-year delay to 26 October, 2005, aims to avoid a disruption of travel to the United States and allow the 27 countries more time to develop the programme to store the data on the passports, department spokesman Adam Ereli said.

Citizens from those countries are allowed to enter the United States and stay for up to 90 days without a visa.

"This extension was necessary to avoid potential disruption of international travel and provide the international community adequate time to develop viable programmes for producing a more secure, biometrically enabled passport," Ereli said in a statement.

In granting the extension, the US government, however, will require the citizens from European and Asian countries to submit to digital fingerprinting and a photograph upon arrival.

That controversial requirement was enacted earlier this year for citizens from countries that must have a visa when travelling to the United States, and angered several countries, including China and Brazil. Brazil retaliated by mandating that U.S. citizens provide a full set of ink fingerprints when entering the country.

In April, US Secretary of State Colin Powell had urged Congress to postpone the biometric passport requirement passed after the 11 September 2001, terrorist attacks. The law requires travellers to carry passports with some form of digitized physical identifier, such as fingerprints, which allows US border security agents to instantly confirm the identity of travellers. 

The visa-waiver countries that must meet the new standards are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Bush, who signed the extension Monday, did not grant a delay that mandates travellers to the United States from those countries carry machine-readable passports.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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