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US Immigration Service set to introduce fingerprint checks

September 2013, 25
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fingerprint check
With immediate effect the US immigration department will be introducing new measures designed to tackle identity fraud.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) have revealed that both fingerprints and photographs will be used as part of the new system in the battle against identity crimes. 

Bio-metric technology 

UCSIS have announced that between September and October 2013, a new verification tool will be introduced in field offices, known simply as CIV (Customer Identity Verification). 

Biometric technology adds extra security

The aim of CIV is to use biometric technology available to be able to verify a customer's identity, in a bid to wipe out the increasing risk of identity fraud. 
CIV is being slowly rolled out and the launch will be complete by 21 October 2013 by which time field offices will have the capability to both take a photograph and record electronic fingerprints. These processes will be adopted for all applicants attending a UCSIS office either for an interview or for the provision of evidence for the purposes of immigration benefits. 
Applicants who are attending a UCSIS purely to accompany a family member or acquaintance, or who are visiting for an InfoPass appointment will be exempt from the requirement. 

Designed to supplement not replace

Despite the new processes being introduced, officials have been keen to stress that these measures will not be relied upon solely as the means of combatting fraud identity. Instead the processes currently being used will remain in place; these latest precautions are designed to supplement not oust existing practices.
Application Support Centres already require immigrants to provide biometric data which is then used as a means of checking their eligibility. This must be submitted together with documentation issued by the government. Neither of these requirements will be waived nor changed; as these are designed to be used for a different purpose than the newly-introduced CIV, the two measures will work hand in hand. 

The new system in operation

Once applicants have cleared security in one of the field offices, they will immediately be asked to consent to the taking of electronic fingerprints and a photograph. If agreeable, two of their fingerprints will be electronically scanned, a process which takes quite literally no more than a few minutes and is entirely painless. 
Individual attending either for an interview or to receive evidence of an immigration benefit will be required to submit to the processes, without exception. 
CIV has the capacity to instantly connect to the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Secondary Inspections Tool. This is a web-based tool which retrieves, processes and displays both biographic and biological data. This system is also linked to security and border inspections. 

Immigration is a controversial topic

Only once these security checks have been completed will the individual be permitted to proceed to the original purpose for which they are visiting the office, i.e. for an interview or to receive evidence of immigration benefits. 

Warning – scammers

The unveiling of these new security measures has led to a wave of opportunistic scammers targeting immigrants and requesting proof of ID such as Social Security numbers, passport information and immigration file numbers.
In many cases the scammers are asking for payment in order to 'correct' the records held. Officials are advising that no payment is provided under any circumstances and that individuals receiving such a call should not enter into long conversations with the fraudsters. 

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