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July 31, 2006

DHS Proposes Rule on Additional Enrollment in US-VISIT

DHS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register today to extend the US-VISIT requirements to all foreign nationals with the exception of those specifically exempted and Canadian citizens applying for admission as B1/B2 visitors for business or pleasure. (71 FR 42605, 7/27/06) Those subject to US-VISIT may be required to provide fingerscans, photographs, or other biometric identifiers upon arrival at, or departure from, the U.S. Currently, only those aliens entering the U.S. pursuant to a nonimmigrant visa or those traveling without a visa as part of the Visa Waiver Program are subject to US-VISIT requirements, with certain limited exceptions. Several large classes of aliens will be affected by this change in the regulations, including: lawful permanent residents; aliens seeking admission on immigrant visas; refugees and asylees; certain Canadian citizens who receive a Form I-94 at inspection or who require a waiver of inadmissibility; aliens paroled into the U.S.; and aliens applying for admission under the Guam Visa Waiver Program.

Operationally, aliens arriving at air and sea ports of entry will be processed differently than those arriving at the land ports of entry. At air and sea ports of entry, biometric collection and US-VISIT processing will occur during primary inspection for the majority of the arriving aliens addressed in this rulemaking. At the land border ports of entry, aliens will be processed through US-VISIT in secondary inspection the same way as other aliens currently subject to US-VISIT (those that require a Form I-94) at the land ports of entry. LPRs entering through land ports will go through biometric collection only if they are referred to secondary inspection by the primary inspecting officer. Written comments regarding the proposed regulation are due on or before August 28, 2006.

On a related note: DHS has updated its US-VISIT Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) to discuss the impact of the proposal to expand US-VISIT to additional classes of aliens. (71 FR 42653, 7/27/06)
The PIA can be found under the Privacy Impact Assessment Section of the Privacy Office's Web site at http://www.dhs.gov/privacy and will be available for a minimum of 60 days.

Posted by VisaLawyer at July 31, 2006 02:47 PM

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