The Office of Biometric Identity Management ‘s (OBIM), formerly US-VISIT, use of biometrics is helping to make travel simple, easy and convenient for legitimate visitors, but virtually impossible for those who wish to do harm or violate U.S. laws.
How Biometrics Assure Identity
Biometrics collected by OBIM and linked to specific biographic information enable a person's identity to be established, then verified, by the U.S. government. With each encounter, from applying for a visa to seeking immigration benefits to entering the United States, OBIM:
- 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 OBIM began to determine if a person is using an alias and attempting to use fraudulent identification.
- 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.
OBIM provides the results of these checks to decision makers when and where they need it.
These services help prevent identity fraud and deprive criminals and immigration violators of the ability to cross our borders. Based on biometrics alone, OBIM has helped stop thousands of people who were ineligible to enter the United States.
Benefits of Biometrics
Biometrics are unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, that can be used for automated recognition. Biometrics form the foundation of OBIM's identification services because they are reliable, convenient and virtually impossible to forge.
Many agencies utilize OBIM services to accurately identify people and determine whether they pose a risk to the United States. Learn more about how U.S. government agencies are using OBIM services.