USCIS Launches Customer Identity Verification System


In order to help facilitate processing and ensure identity accuracy at its field offices, U.S Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that, as of September 9, 2013, USCIS will use a new verification tool called Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its field offices. CIV is an electronic system through which customers will submit biometric data, such as fingerprints and photographs, when they appear at USCIS offices for interviews or to receive evidence of an immigration benefit.

The CIV system was originally scheduled to be launched in May 2013, but the launch was pushed back until September due to technical issues. The CIV system will be phased in between September 9 and October 21, 2013 to customers attending an interview or being issued evidence of an immigration benefit. USCIS expects that CIV will” enhance the integrity of the immigration system and combat identity fraud by allowing USCIS to biometrically verify a customer’s identity.”

How Customer Identification Verification Works

After a customer arrives at a field office, clears security, and is called to the counter, USCIS will use CIV to electronically scan two fingerprints and take a picture of the customer to verify the person’s identity. The entire process is expected to take just a few minutes. The CIV system will be used only for those customers who have an interview or receive evidence of an immigration benefit. Customers who use USCIS field offices for InfoPass appointments or to accompany a customer will not undergo this process. After a customer’s identification is verified, he or she will proceed to their interview or receive their document.

USCIS will continue to require applicants and petitioners requesting immigration or naturalization benefits to visit one of its Application Support Centers (ASCs) to provide biometric data, which is used to help determine eligibility for requested benefits. Additionally, customers will still be required to provide a government-issued document for examination at USCIS appointments.

Where Customer Identity Verification Is Used

CIV is used at USCIS field offices, which handle scheduled interviews for non-asylum related applications, as well as limited information and customer services to supplement the services provided by phone and on the USCIS website. If you need to visit a USCIS field office, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment in advance. The Chicago Field Office is located at 101 West Congress Parkway, Chicago, Illinois, and provides immigration services to applicants residing in Illinois and the following counties in Northwest Indiana: Lake, Porter, LaPorte, and Saint Joseph.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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