Starting on Monday May 6 2013 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will Require Individuals to Submit Biometric Data when appearing at USCIS offices. The USCIS will implement a program called Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its field offices that will now be require individuals to submit fingerprints and photographs when appearing at USCIS offices for interviews or to receive evidence of an immigration benefit. CIV will help to both defend against threats to national security and protect customers from identity fraud by enhancing the agency’s ability to verify identity.
Under this new process USCIS staff will take two fingerprints and a photograph of the individual and input this information into the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology’s (US-VISIT’s) Secondary Inspections Tool (SIT). SIT is a Web-based application that processes displays and retrieves biometric and biographic data. US-VISIT also links databases associated with border inspections and security. After identity verification is satisfactorily completed individuals will proceed to their interviews or be issued their immigration documents.
Biometrics refer to the technologies that measure and analyze human physical characteristics for the purpose of verifying the identity of an individual or checking against other entries in the database. Applicant for Green Card and Naturalization (Citizenship) are required to be fingerprinted so that FBI can check against their databases to ensure prospective immigrants are not inadmissible.
For international visitors biometrics procedures enhance U.S. national security because fingerprints taken will be compared with similarly collected fingerprints at US ports of entry under the US-VISIT program. This will verify visitors’ identity to reduce use of stolen and counterfeit visas and protect against possible use by terrorists or those who might pose security threats to the U.S. Most visitors coming to the U.S. (US-Visit program) and immigrant visa applicants are required to have their fingerprints taken.
The current USCIS process requires applicants and petitioners requesting immigration or naturalization benefits to visit one of their Application Support Centers (ASCs) to provide biometric data. USCIS uses this data to help determine eligibility for requested benefits. This requirement along with providing a government-issued document for examination will not change.
For CIV an individual appearing at a USCIS field office for an interview or to be issued evidence of an immigration benefit will have his or her identity biometrically re-verified. Examples of evidence include temporary travel documents parole authorizations temporary extensions of Form I-90 and temporary I-551 stamps on passports or on Forms I-94 to evidence lawful permanent resident status. Individuals coming to USCIS field offices for other purposes such as an Infopass appointment or as the guest of an applicant or petitioner will not submit biometric data.
Reference: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services