[dhs.gov] The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that
upgraded biometric technology is in place at major U.S. ports of entry,
and most international visitors should expect to use the new technology
when they enter the United States. DHS’s US-VISIT program began
upgrading its biometric technology from a two- to a 10-fingerprint
collection standard in 2007 to make the entry process faster and more
accurate, enabling DHS officials to focus their attention on people who
may pose a risk to the United States.
"Since 2004, biometrics have facilitated legitimate travel for
millions of visitors entering the United States," said US-VISIT
Director Robert Mocny. "The 10 fingerprint upgrade makes this proven
system even more efficient and enhances the security of our nation."
For nearly five years, U.S. Department of State (State) consular
officers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have
collected biometric information—digital fingerprints and a
photograph—from all non-U.S. citizens between the ages of 14 and 79,
with some exceptions, when they apply for visas or arrive at major U.S.
ports of entry. State consular officers began collecting 10
fingerprints from visa applicants in 2007.
Collecting 10 fingerprints increases fingerprint matching accuracy
and reduces the possibility that the system will misidentify an
international visitor. It also strengthens DHS’s capability to check
visitors‘ fingerprints against the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s
(FBI) criminal data and enables DHS to check visitors‘ fingerprints
against latent fingerprints collected by Department of Defense (DOD)
and the FBI from known and unknown terrorists around the world.
DHS’s US-VISIT program, in cooperation with CBP, is leading the
department’s upgrade to 10 fingerprint collection. This upgrade is the
result of an interagency partnership among DHS, FBI, DOD and State.
US-VISIT provides biometric identification services to agencies
throughout federal, state and local government. The program’s most
visible service is the collection of biometrics from international
visitors when they apply for visas and enter the United States. Since
US-VISIT began in 2004, DHS’s use of biometrics has helped prevent the
use of fraudulent documents, protect visitors from identity theft, and
stop thousands of criminals and immigration violators from entering the