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Posts Tagged ‘Biometrics

Biometric Exit Procedures has began at Two U.S. Airports for Departing Non-U.S. Citizens

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has began collecting biometrics-digital fingerprints-from non-U.S. citizens departing the United States as part of a pilot program at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County
Airport.

Non-U.S. citizens leaving the United States from Detroit and Atlanta airports should expect to have their biometrics collected before boarding their flights. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers will collect biometrics at the boarding gate from non-U.S. citizens departing from Detroit; U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers will collect biometrics at security checkpoints from non-U.S. citizens departing from Atlanta. These pilots are expected to continue through early July.

US-VISIT plans to begin implementing new biometric exit procedures based on these pilots for non-U.S. citizens departing the United States by air within the next year.

Non-U.S. citizens departing the United States from all other ports of entry will continue to follow current exit procedures, which require travelers to return their paper Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) or Form I-94W (for Visa Waiver Program travelers) to an airline or ship representative.

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Written by MithrasLaw

June 24, 2009 at 3:17 pm

National Name Check Backlog Eliminated

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced elimination of FBI National Name Check Program backlog. USCIS Acting Deputy Director Michael Aytes said, “Our close partnership with the FBI has resulted in the accomplishment of this significant achievement with national security as its foundation.”

This means that there will be no backlog for most name check requests and that 98 percent of name check requests submitted by the USCIS to the FBI will be completed within 30 days and the remaining 2 percent within 90 days.

Next steps in the adjudication of cases that were previously delayed as a result a pending FBI name check request may now include updating fingerprint results, scheduling interviews, requesting additional evidence and other reviews to determine whether the applicant is eligible for the requested immigration benefit.

Written by MithrasLaw

June 23, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Two Recent Changes in US Immigration Law

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 Two major changes  that have taken place in January 2009 with respect to non-US citizens and International Tourists from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Countries arriving to or departing from the United States are:

(1) International visitors from VWP countries like United Kingdom now require to obtain a “pre-clearance” prior to initiating travel to the United States; and

(2) Expansion of the US-Visit program, which requires all non-US Citizens to provide biometrics upon arrival in, or departure from, the United States at air or sea ports of entry.  

For more details,  see our attorney, Hanishi Ali’s article published here: http://www.lokvani.com/lokvani/article.php?article_id=5499

Green Card Holders Now May be Required to Provide Fingerprints or Other Biometrics

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The new rule that came into effect on January 18, 2009, requires that nearly all foreign citizens provide biometrics (e.g., finger scans and photographs).   The categories of foreign citizens include:

·         US lawful permanent residents (LPRs), that is, “green-card holders”
·         Foreign citizens seeking admission on immigrant visas (this includes all family-based immigration and EB-1 to EB-5 categories)
·         Refugees and Asylees
·         Foreign citizens paroled into the United States
·         Certain Canadian citizens who receive a Form I-94 at inspection or who require a waiver of inadmissibility

For more detailed information – see, our attorney, Hanishi Ali’s  article featured in New England Ethinc News:

http://www.ethnicnewz.org/en/green-card-holders-not-just-tourists-now-may-be-required-provide-fingerprints-or-other-biometrics

US-VISIT rule Expands Categories of Non-U.S. Citizens Required to Provide Biometrics

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program (US-VISIT) in 2004 to verify the identities and travel documents of aliens. Aliens subject to US-VISIT may be required to provide finger scans, photographs, or other biometric identification upon arrival at the United States, at sea or air ports of entry, while on a nonimmigrant visa.

The new US-VISIT rule, which became effective only this week on January 18th 2009, expands the categories of non-U.S. citizens required to provide biometrics who will be subject to US-VISIT requirements to nearly all aliens, including lawful permanent residents (LPRs). Exceptions include Canadian citizens seeking short-term admission for business or pleasure under B visas and those especially exempt.

The following additional non-U.S. citizens will now be required to provide biometrics when entering or re-entering the United States:

  • Lawful permanent residents of the United States (LPRs);
  • Persons entering the United States who seek admission on immigrant visas;
  • Persons entering the United States who seek admission as refugees and asylees;
  • Canadian citizens who are currently required to obtain a Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) upon entry or who require a waiver of inadmissibility to enter the United States (this excludes most Canadian citizens entering the United States for purposes of shopping, visiting friends and family, vacation or short business trips);
  • Persons paroled into the United States; and
  • Persons applying for admission under the Guam VWP.

The US-VISIT program’s aim is to further secure the borders of the United States, prevent aliens from assuming other’s identities, and/or illegally enter the United States. Under the US-VISIT program, the arrival and departure of aliens is documented by fingerprint scans, photo identification, or other biometric identification in order to compare identities of the aliens as well as verify their travel documents so that with this information, ports of entry can cross reference government information to determine suspected terrorists, known criminals, or individuals who have violated immigration laws.

Other practical information with respect to procedures and processing:

  • Canadians applying for admission to the United States under a B-1 or B-2 nonimmigrant classification for business or pleasure, which represents most Canadian travelers to the United States, are exempt and not required to enroll in US-VISIT at this time.
  • Canadian citizens who must now enroll in US-VISIT are those issued a Form I-94 (Arrival Departure Record), including: Canadians applying for admission in the following nonimmigrant classifications: C, D, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, Q 1, Q 3, R, S, T, TN; and Canadians who are granted a waiver of inadmissibility to enter the United States.
  • Canadians requiring issuance of Form I-94 are already referred to secondary inspection. Therefore, no additional wait time will be added.
  • H-1B visa holders will follow existing protocols and will be screened through US-VISIT when applying for a new multiple entry Form I-94 or when referred to secondary inspection for other reasons.
  • At seaports, LPRs returning from a closed loop cruise (cruises that begin and end at the same port in the United States) will be exempt from US-VISIT processing. LPRs returning to the United States from an “open” cruise will be subject to US-VISIT processing.
  • Non-U.S. citizens entering or re-entering the United States at a land border port of entry will be processed differently, at the inspecting officer’s discretion:
    1. LPRs will provide biometrics only if they are referred to secondary inspection.
    2. All other non-U.S. citizens included in this final rule—unless specifically exempt—will experience USVISIT procedures during secondary inspection, just as most non-U.S. citizens already subject to USVISIT procedures currently do (e.g., those who require a Form I-94).
  • Non-U.S. citizens who seek admission with Border Crossing Cards and who do not have a Form I-94 will still go through US-VISIT procedures, at the discretion of the inspecting officers.

If you have been subject to the expanded US-VISIT rule (after January 18th 2009) and would like to share your experience with others please feel free to comment.

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