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Immigration News: New Process for Verifying Identity at USCIS Interviews

Immigration News: New Process for Verifying Identity at USCIS Interviews

Courtesy of Murali Bashyam

As of September 9th, United Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began using a new verification tool called "Customer Identity Verification" (CIV) at its local field offices.  The new program should be in use at all local offices by October 21st. The purpose of CIV is to provide an additional method of verifying the identity of certain applicants for immigration benefits.   For those of you familiar with the green card process, this will be similar to a biometrics appointment. However, the verification is done immediately prior to an applicant's interview at the local USCIS office.

It would work something like this:  An applicant receives an interview notice to appear at his or her local USCIS office at a specified time for an interview on his or her application.  On the day of the interview, the applicant clears security and then checks in at the designated counter.   At the counter, an officer will electronically scan 2 fingerprints and take a digital photo of the applicant to verify his or her identity.

USCIS reports that this extra step will only take a few extra minutes, but we'll just have to see how this goes as the process is implemented.  From time to time, we have a client whose fingerprints cannot be captured electronically.  There is no indication from USCIS how it plans to handle that situation.

Keep in mind that CIV does not replace the standard appointment for biometrics that applicants have prior to a green card or naturalization interview.