USCIS Implements Customer Identity Verification at its Field Offices

Beginning September 9, 2013, USCIS began employing a new verification tool called Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its field offices. Customers will now submit biometric data, specifically fingerprints and photographs, when appearing at USCIS offices for interviews or to receive evidence of an immigration benefit.

CIV will enhance the integrity of the immigration system and combat identity fraud by allowing USCIS to biometrically verify a customer’s identity. Having resolved a technical issue that delayed the original launch, the tool will now be phased in between September 9 and October 21, 2013 to customers attending an interview or being issued evidence of an immigration benefit.

How It Works:

After a customer arrives at a field office, clears security, and is called to the counter, two fingerprints will electronically be scanned and a picture taken to verify their identity. The process takes just a few minutes and applies only to customers who have an interview or receive evidence of an immigration benefit. People who come to the USCIS office for InfoPass appointments, or to accompany a customer, will not undergo this process.

Currently, USCIS requires applicants and petitioners requesting immigration or naturalization benefits to visit the nearest Application Support Center (ASC) 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.

How It Helps:

CIV connects instantly to 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.