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Homeland Security

Step 1: Should I Use DHS TRIP?

When Should You Use DHS TRIP?

DHS TRIP can help you work to resolve travel-related issues when

  • You were not able to print a boarding pass from an airline ticketing kiosk or from the Internet
  • You were denied or delayed boarding
  • A ticket agent “called someone” before handing you a boarding pass
  • You were told
    • your fingerprints were incorrect or of poor quality
    • your photo did not match the travel document
    • your personal information was incomplete or inaccurate
    • you are on the “No Fly List”
  • You want to
    • amend a traveler record because of an overstay as a result of not submitting the required I-94 when exiting the United States
    • ensure your biometric record created in US-VISIT is removed from Department of Homeland Security systems
  • You believe
    • you were unfairly detained during your travel experience or unfairly denied entry into the United States
    • the U.S. government's record of your personal information is inaccurate

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When DHS TRIP Does Not Apply

DHS TRIP is not designed to address travel issue related to mishandled bags or poor customer service. See links for travelers for resources to help you address other travel issues.

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More About Screening and Watchlists

What is the terrorist watchlist?
The terrorist watchlist is maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), which is  administered by the FBI, U.S. Department of Justice, in cooperation with the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, State and Treasury, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Intelligence and law enforcement agencies nominate individuals for the watchlist based on established criteria.

Two subsets of the terrorist watchlist are the “No Fly” list and “Selectee” list:

  • The “No Fly” list includes individuals who are prohibited from boarding an aircraft. You are NOT on the No Fly list if you receive a boarding pass.
  • The “Selectee” list includes individuals who must undergo additional security screening before being permitted to board an aircraft.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in the wake of 9/11 to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce. One of the ways TSA secures transportation systems is screening airline passengers against the No Fly and Selectee lists. 

Customs and Border Protection also screens passengers against the terrorist watchlist before admitting travelers to the United States. As part of the inspection process, CBP officers must verify the identity of travelers, determine their admissibility into the U.S., and otherwise ensure compliance with U.S. laws, including looking for possible terrorists, weapons, controlled substances, and a wide variety of other prohibited and restricted items.

A traveler may be referred to secondary inspection for reasons unrelated to CBP's priority mission of keeping dangerous goods and dangerous people out of the U.S. For example, clearance difficulties may result from a traveler's name and/or date of birth residing in state or local law enforcement agency databases. CBP does not have the authority to modify such records and must refer these travelers to secondary inspection.

How do I know if I am on a Government Watchlist?
The U.S. government does not reveal whether a particular person is on or not on a watchlist. If the government revealed this information, terrorist organizations would be able to circumvent the watchlist's purpose by determining in advance which of their members were likely to be questioned or detained.

Many people erroneously believe that they are experiencing a screening delay because they are on a watchlist. In fact, such delays are often caused merely by a name similarity to another person who is on the watchlist. Ninety-nine percent of individuals who apply for redress are not on the terrorist watchlist, but are misidentified as people who are. 

DHS TRIP can help resolve inconveniences resulting from name similarities by providing a Redress Control Number that allows systems to prevent such misidentificaitons from recurring. Go To Step 2

What factors are used to determine if someone is selected for secondary screening?
Many factors are considered to determine whether to select someone for secondary screening, but for security reasons they cannot be disclosed.

Passengers may be selected for random screening measures during the security screening process; however, if you have been selected for secondary screening on multiple occasions you might be able to use DHS TRIP to resolve issues such as misidentification.  Go To Step 2.

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Foreign Students and Exchange Visitors

If you are a foreign student and exchange visitor, your travel difficulties may be related to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). We encourage you to contact your school official or program sponsor for help resolving difficulties stemming from SEVIS. 

Issues unrelated to SEVIS may be addressed using DHS TRIP.

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» Go to STEP 2: How To Use DHS Trip


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Last Published Date: April 1, 2014
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