US-VISIT is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security because it enhances security for our citizens and visitors while facilitating legitimate travel and trade across our borders. US-VISIT helps to secure our borders, facilitate the entry and exit process, and enhance the integrity of our immigration system while respecting the privacy of our visitors.
US-VISIT is part of a continuum of security measures that begins overseas and continues through a visitorís arrival in and departure from the United States. It incorporates eligibility determinations made by both the Departments of Homeland Security and State.
In those cases where a visa is issued by the Department of State, biometrics such as digital, inkless fingerscans and digital photographs allow the Department of Homeland Security to determine whether the person applying for entry to the United States is the same person who was issued the visa by the Department of State. Additionally, the biometric and biographic data is checked against watch lists, improving the Department of Homeland Securityís ability to make admissibility decisions as well as the Department of Stateís ability to make visa determinations.
US-VISIT currently applies to all visitors (with limited exemptions) holding non-immigrant visas, regardless of country of origin.
Starting September 30, 2004, US-VISIT procedures will be expanded to include visitors traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) arriving at airports and seaports of entry. See Appendix A for a list of the countries in the Visa Waiver Program.
US-VISIT entry procedures are currently in place at 115 airports and 14 seaports. Exit procedures are being piloted in two airports and one seaport and will be in an additional 11 airports and two seaports in the fall of 2004. By December 31, 2004, US VISIT entry procedures will be implemented at secondary screening at the 50 busiest land ports of entry and to all 165 land ports entry by December 31, 2005.
Yes I know its the government's webpage, but it will be real interesting to see how well this system works when it's put into full throttle. The government tends to get our hopes up with these types of things but when it comes down to it, it ends up doing jack sh*t.