Skip to main content

US Customs & Border Protection “Simplified Arrivals” Lands at SFO

Facial comparison technology makes international arrivals easier than ever before

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) announced it is the latest airport to launch “Simplified Arrivals”, a facial comparison technology operated by US Customs & Border Protection (CBP), which automates the process of matching international arriving passengers with their travel documents. SFO expects this technology to reduce wait times at CBP inspection checkpoints.

“We are proud to be the latest US airport to launch Simplified Arrivals,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “SFO is committed to a safe and healthy travel experience, and Simplified Arrivals creates a more touch-free arrival for our international travelers, while also making the process faster and easier. We appreciate the partnership with US Customs & Border Protection to make this a reality.”

When international travelers arrive at SFO, they will pause for a photo at the primary inspection point inside the Customs facility. A facial comparison technology will match the just-taken photo to images the traveler has already provided via passport and visa documents. If a traveler cannot be matched to a photo on record, the CBP officer will process the traveler manually.

US citizens and passengers meeting other criteria may request to opt-out of the new facial comparison process. Travelers who opt-out of the new biometric process will be required to present a valid travel document for manual identity verification by a CBP officer and processed consistent with existing requirements for entry into the United States.

CBP has introduced biometric facial comparison technology for entry into the United States at 10 other airports prior to SFO. To date, CBP has processed more than 52 million travelers and captured almost 300 imposters using this technology.