September 16, 2013
Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan
On Monday September 9, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) field offices began using a new verification tool, Customer Identity Verification (CIV). This process was originally to be launched in May 2013, but was delayed due to technical difficulties.
CIV requires certain individuals to submit biometric data—fingerprints and photographs—when appearing at USCIS offices. When the roll-out is complete, CIV will be conducted for all individuals appearing at local offices for an application or petition interview or when seeking evidence of an immigration benefit. Examples of immigration benefits include individuals seeking temporary travel documents, parole authorizations, temporary extensions of Form I-90, and temporary I-551 stamps on passports or on Forms I-94 to provide evidence of lawful permanent resident status. It is important to note that not all individuals coming to USCIS field offices will be required to submit biometric data. For example, individuals appearing for an Infopass appointment with an inquiry or as the guest of an applicant or petitioner will not submit biometric data through CIV.
CIV will be the second set of fingerprints and photographs for many individuals who must first appear for fingerprints and photographs at an Application Support Center (ASC) at a time and date instructed by USCIS. CIV is in addition to the ASC appointment process, and individuals must still appear for their scheduled ASC appointment or risk having their applications or petitions considered abandoned.
Currently at the local Chicago Field Office, CIV has begun for individuals appearing for naturalization interviews. These applicants must pass through security on the first floor of 101 W. Congress Blvd. in downtown Chicago, and then wait in a second line at the Infopass station, which is also on the first floor. Once an individual has had her fingerprints processed, she continues on to her interview. Because the process is new, it is recommended that applicants arrive earlier than their scheduled interview time to allow for CIV processing.
Aside from naturalization interviews, CIV is not yet being used in all other cases at the Chicago Field Office; some local attorneys report that USCIS estimates CIV will be fully operational in Chicago in October 2013. Given the uncertainty, it is important that you check with your attorney regarding scheduling delays and any CIV updates.