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Visa Security Program (VSP)

The Visa Security Program (VSP) assigns special agents to diplomatic posts worldwide to conduct law enforcement visa security activities and provide training to Department of State (DOS) Consular Affairs (CA) officers regarding threats, trends and other topics affecting visa adjudication.

The VSP utilizes the automated screening capabilities of the Pre-Adjudicated Threat Recognition and Intelligence Operations Team (PATRIOT) to screen, vet, recommend visa eligibility and investigate visa applicants at posts around the world.

The VSP’s critical mission is to maximize the visa process as a counterterrorism tool to identify, exploit and disrupt transnational terrorist and criminal networks seeking to harm the United States. This is done through the following processes:

  • Screen visa applications at the earliest point of the visa process.
  • Vet applications with derogatory information using law enforcement, open source and classified systems.
  • Coordinate with law enforcement, intelligence and host country partners to maximize investigative efforts.
  • Provide a unified DHS recommendation to DOS on an applicant’s visa eligibility.
  • Conduct criminal investigations to exploit and disrupt criminal and terrorist organizations, maximizing the visa process for investigative gain.

The program serves as the agency's frontline in protecting the United States against terrorist and criminal organizations. In addition to screening names against lists of known terrorist or criminal suspects, VSP relies on HSI special agents, working in collaboration with U.S. government and international partners, to identify potential unknown terrorist or criminal suspects and stop them before they can reach the United States.

Last Updated: 04/22/2024
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