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USCIS announced this week that all USCIS offices will now utilize a new verification tool called Customer Identify Verification (CIV). CIV will enhance the integrity of the immigration system and combat identity fraud by allowing USCIS to biometrically verify a customer’s identity. CIV will be phased in at all USCIS offices through October 21, 2013.

When an individual arrives at a USCIS office, clears security and is called to the counter, USCIS will electronically scan two fingerprints and take a picture to verify the individual’s identity. Once the customer’s identity is verified, he or she can proceed to his or her interview or receive his or her document. The process will take only a few minutes and applies only to customers who have an interview or receive evidence of an immigration benefit. Individuals arriving at USCIS offices for an InfoPass appointment or those accompanying an individual will not undergo the CIV process.

Currently, USCIS requires applicants and petitioners requesting immigration or naturalization benefits to visit a USCIS Application Support Center to provide biometric data. This data is used to help determine eligibility for requested benefits. This requirement, along with providing a government-issued identification document for examination, will not change.