The era we live in could be said to be defined by the advances in technology we see happening all around us constantly. It is becoming quicker and better at achieving incredible results that no one could have remotely seen coming even one generation ago. Today it is true that technology impacts most every segment of the day to day activities of people and their place within the world’s culture, functions, and economy. Because this is the case, it makes sense that there should eventually be a collision course between international travel and immigration with advances in technology. Fortunately for those whose role is to travel, the world has recently witnessed some technological innovations whose purpose is to better facilitate processing functions of passports, visas, and other types of documents for travel that may actually deliver positive changes for those traveling internationally.
Replacing Immigration Officers
In the Paris Air Show last month, a drastic change in the aerospace industry emerged as the clear winner for potentially major changes that may soon be underway in airports around the world. This was the system demonstrated by Thales, the French electrical giant, that will soon supplement, or even replace, immigration officers at airports throughout the globe. This machine is able to read passports via scanning technology, record biometric data from passengers like their iris shape and facial features digitally, and then print passes for boarding airplanes.
Plans for the future of this machine envision taking this information and storing it in databases that would be accessible throughout the airport. In this way, robots would do the formerly human task of gathering and verifying the information from passengers when they reached the immigration desk. This would mean that the numbers of human immigration officers could be decreased to as few as one per four to five machines, according to Thales Manager Pascal Zenoni. The idea is supposed to release police staff from immigration desks who can then be redeployed for security operations, as well as to free up additional airport space. Zenoni is optimistic that their company systems will soon be unveiled in global airports over the coming several years.
Anti-Fraud Systems and Counterfeit Travel Documents
In other news, the Bureau of Immigration for the Philippines has just obtained a new system for detecting and fighting counterfeiting and fraudulent travel documents. The Canadian government helped the Philippines’ government to pay for this Travel Document & Bearer, or TD&B Verifier system. It employs digital biometrics in order to quickly locate fake visas, passports, and even boarding passes in airports around the Philippines. It may even find those individuals who use stolen or falsified identities to travel.
The hope of government officials in the Philippines is that this exciting new system will bring down the escalating rates seen in human trafficking and illegal immigration in their country. Shocking revelations in government statistics in that country demonstrate that as many as a million individuals live illegally within the boundaries of the Philippines. The country has always been a target for human traffickers as it lies on a major route in Asia for connecting flights to Canada through the Philippines.
This revolutionary new TD&B Verifier system has been applauded at its unveiling ceremony as simple to utilize and inexpensive for the results it delivers. As a stand on its own system, it will not require interfacing with current technology in airports. This made it easier to implement.
The Positive Impacts of Technology
It is no understatement to claim that revolutions in technology have already changed the day to day lives of individuals all over the planet in just the first few years of this new 21st century. With continuous enhancements and improvements in technology, practically all aspects of life on earth as we know it will be affected. The immigration industry is sure to be one that is particularly impacted by the changes in technology.
This will positively influence the ease of travel and immigration to new countries for those groups of people on the move in search of a better country and more hopeful life to attain prosperity and make their dreams come true. Thanks to smarter and more advanced technology pertaining to international screening and processing of immigrants, global travel should become more effective, less expensive, and even safer so that immigrants with much to share in the ways of experience, ideas, and abilities will be able to positively shape change in the world many years from now.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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