New Program with Biometrics Requirement at USCIS May 2013

On May 6, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin implementing a Customer Identity Verification (CIV) program at USCIS Field Offices. Under the CIV program, individuals who attend interviews or request immigration benefits at USCIS field offices will now be fingerprinted and photographed. Anyone who appears at a USCIS field office to request evidence of a previously approved immigration benefit, such as a temporary travel document or parole authorization, will also be subject to the CIV program’s biometrics requirements.

The biometric data collected during these field office visits will be scrutinized by the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology’s (US-VISIT’s) Secondary Inspections Tool (SIT). SIT is a web-based program that allows the USCIS to verify the identity of foreign nationals.

Notable Exceptions to CIV Screening

Not all visits to a USCIS field office will require the foreign national to undergo CIV screening. An individual attending an InfoPass appointment, who is not requesting proof of an approved immigration benefit, will not be subject to CIV. Anyone accompanying a foreign national who is being interviewed by the USCIS, such as a family member, translator, or representative, will not be subject to the biometrics verification process either.


The USCIS is increasing the use of biometrics verification to better ensure that individuals who appear at USCIS field offices are not defrauding the government or impersonating others. The USCIS explains that the CIV program will help safeguard U.S. national security interests, as well as protect individuals against identity theft or identity fraud. The Murthy Law Firm will continue to monitor the CIV program and alert our readers to any significant changes in interview and field office procedures of the USCIS.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.