What does the Enhanced Border Security & Visa Entry Reform Act mean for new immigrants applying for visas to the United States?

In 2002, the use of biometrics for United States visas was formally mandated by Congress in what has now come to be known as the Enhanced Border Security & Visa Entry Reform Act. According to the law’s conditions, Embassies and Consulates abroad are required to issue visas to international visitors that are both machine-readable and tamper-resistant. The same rules apply to any other types of travel and / or entry documents that utilize biometric identifiers.

Also included in the conditions that were set forth in the Enhanced Border Security & Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 are provisions that were added by the Homeland Security Council. These provisions stated that the new U.S. standard for biometric screening is no less than ten fingerprint scans which are to be collected at all U.S. embassies and used on behalf of visa applicants who are seeking entry into the United States. Given the circumstances set forth in this reform act, it is important to first speak to a New York immigration lawyer at Pozo Goldstein, LLP. Doing so can ensure that you follow all procedures correctly when applying for a visa and entering the U.S.

Defining Biometrics

The biometric identifiers that are now required of international visitors to the U.S. are defined as objective measurements of the physical characteristics of the individual who is applying for the visa. These types of physical identifiers are then captured in a database and used to verify the identity of an international visitor, whose characteristics can be checked against those that are found in the database of biometric identifiers.

For international immigrants to the U.S., the use of biometric identifiers means that visa applicants must be prepared to provide a digital photo and electronic fingerprints during the application process. These two items will be the official biometric identifiers that are captured in the database used for identification verification. Other forms of biometric identifiers can include iris scans and various forms of facial recognition.

What if I refuse to submit a fingerprint?

Any applicant who refuses to participate in the standardized fingerprinting process will automatically have his or her visa application denied. This denial will be based upon the fact that the visa application is taken as incomplete. For immigrants whose applications are denied for this reason, however, there is still an option to continue with the process. As long as the applicant later agrees to provide valid fingerprints, his or her application will be re-considered as if the denial never occurred. There will be no punishment or prejudice for at first refusing to submit to the fingerprinting.

Why work with a New York City immigration attorney?

As you pursue entry into the United States through a visa application, you will be best served under the representation of a qualified legal professional. With an immigration attorney from our firm by your side and working on your behalf, you can rest assured that the application process will be completed up to the standards expected of you. We are experienced lawyers whose careers span across more than 90 years of combined experience, all of which can be dedicated to making sure that your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.

Contact a New York visa attorney from our firm today to learn more about the process of applying for entry into the U.S.