Government Considers Visa Application Early Biometrics Testing for Prospective Immigrants

Immigration Simplified

A new government plan to require early biometric testing for prospective immigrants or international visitors will require applicants to submit their biometrics to be entered into the computer before they apply for visas to come to the U.S. Fingerprints and other biometric data will need to be submitted before they're allowed to submit an immigration application or apply for a visa to visit the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun purchasing fingerprinting machines to ship to consulates abroad.

Right now, visa applicants have to visit a U.S. consulate after they file an application to do an interview and submit their fingerprints and other biometrics. The early biometrics testing program is part of the Trump administration's “extreme vetting" policies to restrict immigration. Government officials say the measure of early biometrics testing will allow the government more time to conduct background checks.

Visa Waiver Program

Under the proposed new plan, most visa applicants will be required to enter their fingerprints in the U.S. biometrics database, including citizens of Canada and 39 countries that are currently enrolled in the visa waiver program and typically do not need to apply for a visa before flying to America.

Other 2020 Changes to DHS Biometrics Testing

Early biometrics testing is not the first change to tighten biometric testing for immigrants to the United States. Beginning in April 2020, immigration officers began collecting DNA from detained immigrants in detention facilities and entering their results into the U.S. national criminal database.

DHS announced, at the beginning of this year, plans to expand immigrant biometrics collection and programs and to collect DNA to verify family relationships and identify “fraudulent family units” during the immigration process. The proposed rule will allow DHS to require biometrics for any U.S. immigration application.

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Chicago Immigration Lawyer

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