These procedures do not apply to most Canadians
Please note: US-VISIT does not apply to most Canadians. For more information on US-VISIT enrollment requirements, please consult the Department of Homeland Security.
US-VISIT is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security program that enhances our country's entry and exit system. It enables the United States to effectively verify the identity of incoming visitors and confirm compliance with visa and immigration policies.
The goals of US-VISIT are to:
- enhance the security of our citizens and visitors;
- expedite legitimate travel and trade;
- ensure the integrity of the immigration system; and
- safeguard the personal privacy of our visitors.
The initiative will involve collecting travel information and "biometric identifiers" (such as fingerprints, using a simple, inkless device) from visitors to assist the border officer in making admissibility decisions.
The identity of visitors who need a visa to travel to the U.S. will be verified upon their arrival and departure. These entry and exit procedures address our critical need for tighter security and our ongoing commitment to expedite travel for the millions of legitimate visitors we welcome each year to conduct business, learn, see family, or tour the country.
The verification process strengthens security by more accurately verifying the identity of visitors who legitimately travel into the United States. By capturing "biometrics" through the use of simple fingerprint scanners, we will be able to conduct this verification process more quickly and with more certainty than by searching databases by name alone.
Many of the arrival processes will remain unchanged and will be familiar to international visitors. At an airport or seaport, travel documents such as a passport and a visa will be reviewed and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer will ask specific questions regarding the visitor's stay in the U.S.
As part of the enhanced procedures, most visitors will have their fingerprints scanned by an inkless device and a digital photograph taken. All of the data and information is then used to assist the border inspector in determining whether or not to admit the traveler. These enhanced procedures will add only seconds to the visitor's overall processing time.
All data obtained from the visitor is securely stored as part of the visitor's travel record. This information is made available only to authorized officials and selected law enforcement agencies on a need-to-know basis in their efforts to help protect the nation against those who intend to harm American citizens or visitors to our country.
Note that all visitors to the U.S. must, upon entry to the U.S., provide the address of their immediate destination.
Effective May 6, 2007, international travelers are no longer required to check out at a US-VISIT exit kiosk. All other exit procedures remain the same. International travelers who received a CBP Form I-94 (Arrival Departure Record) upon arrival must still return it to an airline or ship representative when departing the United States.
Problem Resolution (DHS TRIP)
Travelers can now seek redress and resolve possible misidentification or other issues with any component of the Department of Homeland Security under the Department's Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP). Please visit DHS.gov for more information on DHS TRIP.
For more information on the US-VISIT program, please visit DHS.gov.