Call Us Today: 202-787-1944

Immigration News
Changes in immigration that impact your life.

Home  >  Immigration News  >  News Archive  >  Visitor Visas  >  News Article

News Jump: 

DHS to Begin Biometric Exit Pilot as Part of USVISIT Program
Print This Article
Discuss This Topic
Create News Alerts
As a part of the border management system introduced at airports and seaports earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced that it will pilot and evaluate US-VISIT automated biometric exit procedures for foreign visitors.

The exit pilot program will be expanded from its current locations, Baltimore - Washington International Airport and Miami's International Cruise Line Terminal, to Chicago O'Hare International Airport beginning in August 2004. It will be piloted at the following airports and seaports in September 2004:
  • Atlanta, Georgia (William B. Hartsfield International Airport)

  •  Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport)

  • Denver, Colorado (Denver International Airport)

  • Detroit, Michigan (Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport)

  • Newark, New Jersey (Newark International Airport)

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia International Airport)

  • Phoenix, Arizona (Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport)

  • San Francisco, California (San Francisco International Airport)

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico (Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport)

  • Seattle, Washington (Seattle/Tacoma International Airport

  • Los Angeles, California (San Pedro and Long Beach Seaports)

Any foreign visitor with a visa who leaves the United States through one of the pilot locations is required to comply with the exit procedure. After September 30, 2004, visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) will be required to comply.

"We will begin testing processes that will make exiting quick for visitors and effective for security," said Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security at the Department of Homeland Security. "We must implement a straightforward exit process to ensure that individuals adhere to the terms of their admission. This supports our efforts to strengthen homeland security and ensure the integrity of our immigration system."

As this is a pilot program, US-VISIT will analyze the benefits and challenges of each exit process in order to better develop a system that enhances security while facilitating legitimate travel and ensuring privacy.

The exit procedures being piloted require foreign visitors to check out at an automated exit kiosk or with a US-VISIT exit attendant at the departure gate at the port. Foreign visitors will go though one of the following two processes, depending on location.

Under one alternative, visitors departing the United States will check out of the country at exit kiosks located within the airport or seaport terminal. As with the process the visitors encounter upon entry, their travel documents are read, their two index fingers will be digitally scanned at the exit kiosk, a digital picture will be taken and they will receive a printed receipt that verifies that they have checked out. An exit workstation attendant will be available to assist with visitors' check out. Visitors also may be required to present the receipt at their departure gate to confirm that they checked out at the exit kiosk.

Another alternative under the pilot program is a biometric check-out process with a US-VISIT exit attendant stationed at visitors' departure gates.

To help the process run smoothly, foreign visitors will receive a printed card explaining the exit process from U.S. Customs and Border Protection when they arrive in the United States. Also, directional signs are strategically located throughout the airports and seaports.

US-VISIT is a continuum of security measures that begins overseas and continues on through entry and exit at U.S. airports and seaports and eventually, at land border crossings. The US-VISIT program enhances the security of U.S. citizens and visitors by matching the identity of visitors with their travel documents. At the same time, it facilitates legitimate travel and trade by leveraging technology and the evolving use of biometrics to expedite processing at our borders.

The first phase of US-VISIT launched on January 5, 2004, when DHS deployed the new biometric entry capabilities at 115 airports and 14 seaports and began testing a biometric departure confirmation system at two locations. Since then, millions of foreign visitors have been processed without impacting wait times and it is working. US-VISIT has helped to prevent hundreds of criminals and immigration violators from entering the country. Before the biometric component of US-VISIT, these people might have gotten through our system and into our country.

Biometric technology - digital finger scans and digital photographs - helps make US-VISIT simple and effective. In fact, the use of biometrics for identification is fast becoming the standard, and much of the world is following the trend.

US-VISIT is helping us demonstrate that we remain a welcoming nation and that we can keep America's doors open and our nation secure. For more information on US-VISIT, or to learn more about the new exit procedures, please visit the US-VISIT Web site at

Print This Article
Discuss This Topic
Create News Alerts

ESTA Reminder: Visa Waiver Program Travelers Must Have e-Passport
Visa Waiver Program Changes: Libya, Somalia and Yemen Added As Countries Of Concern
DHS and DOS Begin Implementing Visa Waiver Program Changes
USCIS issues Policy Memoranda on Changes to B-2 Status and Extensions of B-2 Status for Cohabitating Partners and Other Nonimmigrant Household Members
More >>

Premium Processing Now Available For H-1B Cap 2018 Petitions
US Embassy in Moscow Suspends Nonimmigrant Visa Processing
Premium Processing Now Available For Certain Cap-Exempt H1B Petitions
Visa Bulletin June 2017: EB-1 China and EB-1 India Retrogress; EB-2 Advances Marginally for China and India
More >>

News Jump: 

U.S. Immigration Attorney - Consult Now!

Immigration Services
  Fast, Easy and Economical Avoid Costly Immigration Errors!
Immigration Guide
 Know Your U.S. Immigration Options
Immigration Law FAQ
 Detailed Answers to Your Immigration Questions
Immigration Articles
  Interesting and Useful Articles on a Variety of Relevant Topics

How can we help you?
Receive latest immigration updates and free legal tips by e-mail. Sign up now!
Legal terms explained in plain English!
H1B Address Change of Work Locations: When Do You Have To File H1B Amended Petitions?
H1B Visa Lottery 2017: Improving Your Odds of Success
H1B Visa Cap 2017: Things You Must Know
Filing H1B Cap 2018 Petitions:How To Get A Head Start With VisaPro’s H1B Visa 2018 Timeline
H1B Cap Exempt Employers: How Do You Find Out If You Qualify?
H-1B Cap Has Reached:How Do You Hire H-1B Cap Exempt Candidates?
2018 H1B Cap Petitions:How To Properly File With USCIS
H1B Cap Exempt – Are You Eligible?
5 Common H1B Cap 2018 Filing Mistakes - How to Avoid Them
H1B Cap 2018 Filing Secrets: Why You Should Plan Now?
More Articles...

Get a detailed, written opinion online in less than 3 business days from a licensed immigration attorney.
Experienced Immigration Attorneys - Consult Online or By Telephone

Alerts & Newsletter
Create and Manage your
e-mail alerts for FREE.