Department of Homeland Security Expands Collection of Biometrics for Visitors

WASHINGTON , Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it is expanding the categories of non-U.S. citizens required to provide digital fingerprints and a photograph upon entry to the United States...


WASHINGTON , Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it is expanding the categories of non-U.S. citizens required to provide digital fingerprints and a photograph upon entry to the United States through the US-VISIT program.

US-VISIT records biographic and biometric information to conduct security checks and verify the identities of international visitors to the United States . Expanding enrollment in US-VISIT is a positive step forward in a process designed to further improve public safety and national security while ensuring the integrity of the immigration system. Linking a person's biometric information to his or her travel documents reduces the risk that a traveler's identity or documents could be intentionally misused by someone attempting to gain entry into the United States .

Collection and verification of biometric identifiers upon entry protects travelers by making it virtually impossible for anyone else to attempt to use their biometrically linked travel documents (such as a permanent resident card), such as if their documents were stolen or duplicated.

US-VISIT biometric collection requirements apply to most non-U.S. citizens, with limited exemptions, entering the United States regardless of country of origin or whether they are traveling on a visa or by air, sea or land. Non-U.S. citizens under the age of 14 and over the age of 79 are exempt from US-VISIT procedures, as are certain other individuals admitted under specific categories. The Final Rule is available for viewing at http://www.dhs.gov/xprevprot/laws/gc_1229618480915.shtm.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)