To help secure our borders and transportation, DHS relies on biometrics: unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, that can be used for automated recognition. US-VISIT uses biometrics for its identification services because they are reliable, convenient and virtually impossible to forge.
The use of biometrics is helping to make travel simple, easy and convenient for legitimate visitors, yet virtually impossible for those who wish to do harm or violate U.S. laws.
Assurance of Identity
Biometrics, collected by US-VISIT and linked to specific biographic information, enable us to establish and verify a person's identity. US-VISIT then provides the results of these checks to appropriate security officials when and where it’s needed.
With each encounter - from applying for a visa, to seeking immigration benefits, to entering the United States, US-VISIT:
- checks a person’s biometrics against a watch list of known or suspected terrorists, criminals and immigration violators;
- checks against the entire database of all of the fingerprints the Department of Homeland Security has collected since US-VISIT began to determine if a person is using an alias and attempting to use fraudulent identification; and
- checks a person’s biometrics against those associated with the identification document presented to ensure that the document belongs to the person presenting it and not someone else.
Higher Standard of Security
US-VISIT's use of biometrics has helped strengthen U.S. immigration and border security. Every day, some 30,000 authorized federal, state and local government officials query US-VISIT's data in order to accurately identify people, and determine whether they pose a risk to the United States. US-VISIT supplies the technology for collecting and storing biometric data, provides analysis of it, and also ensures its integrity. By using biometrics, US-VISIT is helping to prevent the use of fraudulent documents, protect visitors from identity theft and stop of criminals and immigration violators from entering the country.