1. Resources
  2. Glossary
  3. Biometrics

Biometrics refers to certain physiological data by which a person can be uniquely identified, such as fingerprints. With statistical analysis of these traits, a system can be trained to recognize certain people, with a certain probability. The USCIS uses biometrics to authenticate that people are who they say they are.

Biometrics Appointment

Whether applying for U.S. lawful permanent residence (a green card), naturalization, asylum, or one of various other types of immigration benefits, USCIS will require an applicant to attend a biometrics appointment.

In practice, USCIS will obtain a person’s:

  • Photograph
  • Fingerprints
  • Signature
  • DNA (rare cases)

This process confirms their identity to ensure that USCIS provides benefits to the correct person and allows for necessary criminal background checks to be effective. In rare cases, USCIS will request DNA testing for immigration cases where applicants may be from developing countries that do not have birth certificates, or when there are suspicious discrepancies within the case.

A letter will be sent scheduling an appointment at the nearest USCIS office. Appointments are usually scheduled 4-6 weeks after the notification is received.

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