On October 1, 2004, USCIS will terminate its contract with Designated Law Enforcement Agencies (DLEAs), where some immigrants in rural locations have gone for fingerprint services. The DLEA contract is ending as USCIS strives to meet new biometric standards, including the ability to take and store electronic fingerprints, photographs and signatures. The new biometric standards will enhance the security and integrity of fingerprint data and improve customer service by allowing data to be stored and reused, thereby minimizing customer returns for additional fingerprints. The DLEAs cannot meet these new biometric standards, and beginning October 1, 2004, USCIS will direct customers to the nearest Application Support Center (ASC) for fingerprinting services.
Application Support Centers, U.S. consular posts, and military installations abroad will continue to be recognized as authorized fingerprint sites. In 1997, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) established 130 ASCs nationwide where applicants for immigration benefits can have fingerprints and photographs taken. ASCs were located strategically to serve as many customers as possible with no more than a 100-mile drive from their homes. However, customer populations in more remote locations were too small to justify opening an ASC. In those cases, INS partnered with local law enforcement agencies and established 52 contracts with designated agencies to take fingerprints and photographs for customers. The DLEAs process about 25,000 sets of fingerprints per year. In contrast, the ASCs process about 1.8 million sets of fingerprints per year.
For more information on fingerprinting requirements for immigration benefits, visit http://uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/finger/index.htm.
For a list of Application Support Centers, contact information, directions, and hours of operation, visit http://uscis.gov/graphics/fieldoffices/ascs/asc.htm
On March 1, 2003, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services became one of three legacy INS components to join the U.S. Department of Homeland ecurity. USCIS is charged with fundamentally transforming and improving the delivery of immigration and citizenship services, while enhancing our nation's security.