Until now, the machines have been available to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens. In addition, Japanese and Korean citizens have been able to use the machines when leaving the country.
As of 1 June 2014, US and Canadian citizens can also use passport machines when departing from Finland. However, they still need to pass through regular passport control upon arrival.
The machines can be used if the passenger has an e-passport (or a biometric passport). Compared to many other countries, the machines are easy to use because no advance registration is needed.
Information about using the machines
The Finnish Border Guard is a pioneer in the use of technology. As the number of passengers is constantly increasing, it has been able to develop the flow of frontier traffic through technology without compromising security. Currently, Helsinki Airport has the highest number of passport machines in Europe.
By 2017, EU citizens will only use biometric passports, meaning that the number of passport machines will also increase in other European countries. The Finnish Border Guard is developing the passport machines to be available to all people, regardless of nationality.
The automatic passport control system is based on biometric identification of passengers. Biometric passports contain a microchip which is checked by the machine reader. The machine compares the individual dimensions of the real-time facial image with the image included in the passport chip.
In a normal situation, completing the automatic passport check only takes 15 seconds.
Source: Finnish Border Guard website