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US immigration dodge is permanent

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Janet Napolitano, boss of US Homeland Security, is making the Global Entry system - a quicker way through customs and border control - permanent.

The voluntary scheme, for US residents, is currently being piloted at 20 airports. It allows pre-registered passengers to swerve long security lines and enter a booth, stick their passport in a slot, have their fingerprints checked against a digital record and answer customs questions via a touchscreen.

Assuming all this works, the booth prints a receipt which can be shown to Customs officers on your way out.

About 27,000 people have registered and, between them, entered the country 100,000 times.

The DOH is accepting comments on the proposed change until 22 January 2010.

Global Entry members can also take part in Privium - which uses iris recognition to fast-track passengers through Amsterdam's Schipol Airport, although there is an extra €159 annual charge.

UK and US authorities are working on a similar scheme to fast-track entry to the UK. ®

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