Re-Launch of Identity Verification in Local USCIS Offices

Individuals attending immigration interviews at local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) district field offices are now required to submit to biographic verification of their identity. The USCIS began using a Customer Identity Verification (CIV) tool as of September 9, 2013. This is an anti-fraud measure that allows the USCIS to confirm the identity of an individual appearing in the local office.

Background: CIV Previously Suffered Technical Glitches

The CIV program is not entirely new. The USCIS intended to implement this system in May 2013, as explained in the NewsBrief, New Program with Biometrics Requirement at USCIS May 2013 (16.April.2013). The initial launch encountered technical difficulties and had to be delayed. The September 2013 announcement indicates that the technical issues have been resolved. The program is being phased in completely between September 9, 2013 and October 21, 2013.

CIV Uses Two Fingerprint Scan, Photo

The CIV system uses a two fingerprint electronic scan. An individual who has an in-person interview, or who is being issued evidence of an immigration benefit at a local USCIS office, will undergo the standard airport-like security screening. S/he will then be asked to undergo the fingerprint scan and have a photo taken in order to verify identity.

Results of CIV Instantaneous

Verification should be immediate, as the CIV system is connected to the system used at the U.S. ports of entry (POEs), known as US-VISIT, Secondary Inspections Tool (SIT). These systems are further linked to other security and border inspection databases. There have been reports, however, that the implementation of this system is causing delays at some field offices.

Exemptions from CIV

The additional CIV verification is not required for individuals who appear at local USCIS offices for InfoPass appointments. It is also not required for individuals, such as lawyers and translators, who accompany others to immigration interviews.

No Change in Biometric Requirements at ASC

The implementation of the CIV system does not replace the fingerprinting requirements during the adjustment-of-status (form I-485), or “green card,” process. The CIV system is separate from that process, and does not alter the system for biometric appointments at the USCIS application support centers (ASC).


The CIV system is being implemented as an anti-fraud measure, and should allow the USCIS field offices to resolve any doubts about an individual’s identity. For the immediate future, individuals who will be subject to this new screening should anticipate some initial delays. However, the expectations are that, once the local offices become accustomed to the new system, it will not cause any added inconvenience for visitors. Follow the latest NewsBriefs on MurthyDotCom to be updated on USCIS announcements of any procedural changes. Subscribe to the MurthyBulletin to keep abreast of the week’s news, blogs, and upcoming events.

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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.