Travel Advisory- Fingerprints, Biometrics, Lookouts, and More

Travel Advisory– Fingerprints, Biometrics, Lookouts, and More

Customs and Border protection (CBP) databases may maintain alien fingerprint/biometric information that is now being collected at points of inspection. All Visa Waiver (VW) aliens, all Non Immigrants, all immigrants (LPR/Green Card holders) are finger printed. Visa exempt aliens are not finger printed, such as Canadians, diplomats an others. This process initially began in 2005 at selective ports for non-immigrant visa holders. In 2007, CBP began collecting a full set of fingerprints (10 prints) at select ports and as of September 30, 2013, all U.S. ports collect 10-prints from international travelers holding a non-U.S. passport or non-immigrant visa.

This occurs at all ports of entry. The process consists of a photograph and 10 finger prints. Information is entered into IDENT, which is managed by the Office of Biometric Identity Management, formerly known as U.S. Visit. This information is shared with other federal state and local law enforcement agencies through the Biometric Support Center.

At the ports of entry a CBP officer may use a Primary Lookout Override ("PLOR") anytime there are false matches at ports of entry. If you have an issue because of PLOR please be aware there is no formal mechanism for requesting a PLOR, as this should be done by supervisor for passenger services. Passengers or travelers experiencing problems should initiate an inquiry under DHS Trip at

In many situations, particularly adjustment of status, aliens are required to prove that they have not violated their status or overstayed during previous visits. Previously foreign nationals have relied heavily upon printed I-94 cards. The new electronic I-94 program present a problem, when, for example, an L-1 alien has traveled in and out often for business and they don't print the electronic I-94 cards upon each return. These alien may later seek to adjust their status and have the burden to prove maintenance of status but are unable access the online I-94 cards.

The on line I-94 records are available until the alien departs or until his period of authorized stay expires. The passport admission stamps should contain the class of admission and date of expiration. At times CBP is having a problem with the I-94 automation where the information is not present in the website and obtaining a copy of the I-94 or file number weeks after entry are not present. These individuals are being referred to deferred inspection and are not able to see a CBP officer. There is no automated system for requesting appointments. Passengers should call their deferred inspection site for an appointment.

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