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DHS/ALL/PIA-089 DHS International Biometric Interoperability Initiative for the Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP), administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in consultation with the Department of State (State), permits citizens of designated countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa. The eligibility requirements for a country’s designation in the VWP are defined in Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)1 (including as amended most recently by the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015). A requirement of the program is that any country seeking to participate in the VWP must enter into and implement an agreement with the United States to share information regarding whether citizens and nationals of that country traveling to the United States represent a threat to the security or welfare of the United States or its citizens.2 To implement this program requirement in a manner consistent with law, Presidential Memoranda,3 and DHS’s increasing requirements for mission-based traveler screening, DHS has determined that all countries in the VWP and those aspiring to join must allow DHS and State to compare the fingerprints of travelers and immigration benefit applicants against their appropriate records, including identity, criminal, and terrorist records, for the purposes of border security, immigration, and traveler screening. This enhancement to the VWP screening capabilities will enable DHS to better identify individuals who pose a threat to the security or welfare of the United States. This Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) considers the privacy risks and applicable mitigation strategies associated with implementing this Departmental policy. January 2021

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Created Date: January 7, 2020
Last Published Date: January 8, 2021
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