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US Announces Measures to Streamline Immigration Process


Two top U.S. officials have announced new measures to enhance immigration security, while streamlining the process for foreigners entering the United States.

In Washington Tuesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the updated procedures are to use new information technology to improve both the visa process and security screening.

Department of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff says officials are to issue secure biometric passport cards for those in border areas who frequently cross into the United States.

Rice says student visas will be issued up to 120 days before their studies are to begin, instead of 90 days -- and students will be allowed to enter the country 45 days ahead of time, instead of 30.

She says measures to expedite the entry of business travelers include having companies enrolled for expedited visa processing.

Chertoff says officials also hope to have a one-stop location where travelers can address complaints.

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