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NPZ Immigration Law Blog

Monday, April 8, 2013

USCIS to Implement Customer Identity Verification at Field Offices

On Monday, May 6, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its field offices. Individuals will now be required to submit biometric data, specifically 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.

Currently, USCIS requires applicants and petitioners requesting immigration or naturalization benefits to visit one of our 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.

Under this new process, 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.


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