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[Federal Register: August 3, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 148)]
[Notices]               
[Page 46556-46558]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr03au04-87]                         

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

 
Border and Transportation Security; Notice to Aliens Included in 
the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology 
System (US-VISIT)

AGENCY: Border and Transportation Security Directorate, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has established the 
United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program 
(US-VISIT), an integrated, automated entry-exit system that records the 
arrival and departure of aliens; verifies aliens' identities; and 
authenticates aliens' travel documents through comparison of biometric 
identifiers. On January 5, 2004, DHS implemented the first phase of US-
VISIT by publishing an interim final rule in the Federal Register at 69 
FR 468 authorizing DHS to require certain aliens to provide 
fingerprints, photographs, or other biometric identifiers upon arrival 
in or departure from the United States at air and sea ports of entry. 
The January 5 interim final rule also authorized the Secretary of 
Homeland Security (Secretary) to establish pilot programs at up to 
fifteen air or sea ports of entry, to be identified by notice in the 
Federal Register, through which DHS may require certain aliens who 
depart from a designated air or sea port of entry to provide specified 
biometric identifiers and other evidence at the time of departure. On 
January 5, 2004, DHS published a notice in the Federal Register at 69 
FR 482 identifying one air and one sea port of entry designated for US-
VISIT inspection at the time of alien departure to initiate the US-
VISIT exit pilot program.
    This notice informs the public of the implementation of US-VISIT 
exit pilot programs at an additional thirteen air or sea ports as 
authorized under 8 CFR 215.8(a). This notice further provides a 
complete listing of the fifteen air and sea ports where US-VISIT exit 
pilot programs are in operation. This notice also introduces new data 
collection processes and describes the process under which the exit 
pilot programs will be evaluated by DHS.

DATES: Effective Dates: This notice is effective August 3, 2004.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Hardin, Program Analyst, US-
VISIT, Border and Transportation Security, Department of Homeland 
Security, 425 I Street, NW., Washington, DC 20536, telephone (202) 298-
5200.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

What Is US-VISIT?

    DHS established the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status 
Technology Program (US-VISIT) in accordance with several Congressional 
mandates requiring that DHS create an integrated, automated entry-exit 
system that records the arrival and departure of aliens; verifies 
aliens' identities; and authenticates aliens' travel documents through 
comparison of biometric identifiers. US-VISIT is part of a continuum of 
security measures that begins overseas, when a person applies for a 
visa to travel to the United States, and continues on through entry and 
exit at U.S. air and seaports and, eventually, at land border 
crossings. The US-VISIT program enhances the security of U.S. citizens 
and visitors by verifying the identity of visitors with visas. At the 
same time, the program facilitates legitimate travel and trade by 
leveraging technology and the evolving use of biometrics to expedite 
processing at U.S. borders.
    The goals of the program are to:
     Enhance the security of U.S. citizens and visitors.
     Facilitate legitimate travel and trade.
     Ensure the integrity of the immigration system.
     Safeguard the personal privacy of visitors.
    On January 5, 2004, DHS published an interim final rule in the 
Federal Register at 69 FR 468 implementing the first phase of US-VISIT 
at air and sea ports of entry in the United States. The January 5 
interim final rule authorized the Secretary to:
     Require nonimmigrant aliens seeking admission pursuant to 
a nonimmigrant visa at an air or sea port of entry designated by notice 
in the Federal Register to provide fingerprints, photograph(s), or 
other specified biometric identifiers at time of application for 
admission or at time of departure; and
     Establish pilot programs at up to fifteen air or sea ports 
of entry, designated through notice in the Federal Register, through 
which the Secretary or his delegate may require an alien admitted 
pursuant to a nonimmigrant visa who departs the United States from a 
designated air or sea port of entry to provide fingerprints, 
photograph(s), or other specified biometric identifiers, documentation 
of his or her immigration status in the United States, and such other 
evidence as may be requested to determine the alien's identity and 
whether he or she has properly maintained his or her status while in 
the United States.
    On January 5, 2004, DHS also published a notice in the Federal 
Register identifying which aliens are subject to or exempt from the US-
VISIT requirements, the information that would be required from those 
aliens, and the specific air and sea ports and locations which are 
designated for the collection of that information. The January 5 Notice 
also identified one airport and one seaport for collection of biometric 
information from aliens departing from the United States under the US-
VISIT exit pilot program.

What Does This Notice Do?

    This notice informs the public of the implementation of US-VISIT 
departure pilot programs to thirteen additional air or sea ports, 
expanding the US-VISIT exit program to the full complement of fifteen 
air or sea ports authorized under 8 CFR 215.8. All aliens subject to 8 
CFR 235.1(d)(1)(iii) will be required to provide fingerprints, 
photographs, or other specified biographic data when departing the 
United States from one of these additional ports.
    As discussed in the January 5 interim final rule, DHS, through the 
exit pilot programs, will test different methods to collect the 
required information from aliens as they depart the United States 
through the designated ports of entry. DHS currently is exploring 
several different methods and processes for collection of information, 
including the existing self-serve kiosks already in place and hand-held 
scanners that can be taken from person to person by a DHS officer to 
collect biometric information. The exit pilot programs will enable the 
Department to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the different 
processes for collection of biometric information and determine which 
process allows for the most accurate and efficient collection of 
information from aliens departing from the United States.

How Will the Pilot Program Process Be Evaluated?

    The objective of the exit pilot program is to allow DHS to evaluate 
processes for obtaining biometric identifiers and other information 
from aliens departing the United States and determine which process 
provides the best method of

[[Page 46557]]

collecting this information in an expeditious and accurate manner. The 
goal of the pilot programs is to provide DHS with a flexible system 
(both technically and operationally), which is also compatible with 
other DHS agencies, port authorities, and with the travel industry.
    Each process for collecting biometric identifiers at departure 
points will be evaluated using the following criteria:
     Enhancing the security of U.S. citizens and foreign 
visitors;
     Expediting legitimate travel and trade;
     Ensuring the integrity of the immigration system;
     Safeguarding the personal privacy of foreign visitors;
     Supporting the traveler's compliance with DHS procedures 
and any related law enforcement action necessary;
     Minimizing the impact to commercial and tourist travel as 
related to traveler time and travel industry involvement; and
     Minimizing the costs necessary to deploy.
    The US-VISIT program will collect biographic and biometric data as 
described in the January 5, 2004 interim final rule at the fifteen exit 
pilot program locations identified in this notice beginning August 3, 
2004. US-VISIT will complete the evaluation of the exit pilot programs, 
including evaluation of the methods and processes for collection of 
required information, by November 30, 2004. US-VISIT also will consider 
information obtained from the public through voluntary surveys and 
questionnaires in its evaluation of the pilot programs. Any surveys, 
questionnaires, or other methods of collecting information from the 
public to evaluate the US-VISIT exit pilot programs will be reviewed 
and cleared in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. 
Following completion of the evaluation, the US-VISIT program will 
publish a subsequent notice in the Federal Register, announcing its 
findings and implementation plans.

Notice of Requirements for Biometric Collection From Aliens

    In accordance with the authority granted to DHS pursuant to 8 CFR 
215.8, DHS hereby orders as follows:
    (a) Aliens subject to notice: Aliens subject to the conditions of 
entry specified at 8 CFR 235.1(d)(1)(ii) are subject to this notice and 
may be required to provide biometric information at time of departure 
from the United States.
    (b) Aliens exempt: This notice does not apply to (i) aliens 
admitted on A-1, A-2, C-3 (except for attendants, servants or personal 
employees of accredited officials), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1, NATO-2, 
NATO-3, NATO-4, NATO-5, or NATO-6 visas, unless the Secretary of State 
and the Secretary of Homeland Security jointly determine that a class 
of such aliens should be subject to this notice, (ii) children under 
the age of 14, (iii) persons over the age of 79, (iv) classes of aliens 
the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State jointly 
determine shall be exempt, or (v) an individual alien whom the 
Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State or the Director 
of Central Intelligence determines shall be exempt. Aliens admitted on 
A-1, A-2, C-3 (except for attendants, servants or personal employees of 
accredited officials), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, 
NATO-4, NATO-5, or NATO-6 visas who are no longer in such status on 
date of departure, however, are subject to the departure requirements 
of this notice. Aliens exempted from paragraph (a) who are no longer in 
an exempted status on date of departure are subject to the departure 
requirements of this notice.
    (c) Biometric Information: All aliens subject to this notice shall, 
at time of departure from designated air and sea ports, submit 
electronic fingerprints and electronically scan their travel document 
as requested at the departure inspection locations.
    (d) Airport(s) designated for US-VISIT inspection at time of alien 
departure:

Baltimore, Maryland (Baltimore/Washington International Airport)
Newark, New Jersey (Newark International Airport)
Atlanta, Georgia (William B. Hartsfield International Airport)
Chicago, Illinois (O'Hare International Airport)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia International Airport)
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport)
Detroit, Michigan (Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport)
Las Vegas, Nevada (McCarran International Airport)
San Juan, Puerto Rico (Luis Munoz Marin International Airport)
Phoenix, Arizona (Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport)
San Francisco, California (San Francisco International Airport)
Agana, Guam (Agana International Airport)
Denver, Colorado (Denver International Airport)

    (e) Sea port(s) designated for US-VISIT inspection at time of alien 
departure:

Miami, Florida
Los Angeles, California (including San Pedro and Long Beach)

The US-VISIT System Is Maintained Consistent With Privacy and Due 
Process Principles

    DHS' Privacy Office, in conjunction with the US-VISIT Privacy 
Officer, will exercise oversight of the US-VISIT program to ensure that 
the information collected and stored in systems associated with US-
VISIT is being properly protected under the privacy laws and guidance 
(68 FR 69412, dated December 12, 2003).
    DHS will implement procedures to ensure the security, accuracy, 
relevance, timeliness and completeness of the information maintained in 
the US-VISIT system. Information is safeguarded in terms of applicable 
rules and policies, including DHS' automated systems security and 
access policies. Only those individuals who have an official need for 
access to the system in the performance of their duties will have 
access to the system. Records of those individuals who become U.S. 
citizens and legal permanent resident aliens will be protected in line 
with all applicable privacy laws and regulations. Those, including 
nonimmigrant aliens, who wish to contest or seek a change of their 
records should direct a written request to the US-VISIT Program Office 
at the following address: Steve Yonkers, Privacy Officer, US-VISIT, 
Border and Transportation Security, Department of Homeland Security, 
Washington, DC 20528, telephone (202) 298-5200, fax (202) 298-5201, and 
e-mail: usvisitprivacy@dhs.gov. Because of security concerns, mail sent 
to the government is occasionally delayed, so fax or e-mail will 
typically result in a quicker response. The request should include the 
requestor's full name, current address, date of birth, and a detailed 
explanation of the change sought. More information on redress 
procedures can be found at http://www.dhs.gov/usvisit. If the matter cannot be 

resolved by the Privacy Officer, further appeal for resolution may be 
made to the DHS Privacy Officer at the following address: Nuala 
O'Connor Kelly, Chief Privacy Officer, U.S. Department of Homeland 
Security, Washington, DC 20528, telephone (202) 282-8000, and fax (202) 
772-5036.


[[Page 46558]]


    Dated: July 24, 2004.
Tom Ridge,
Secretary of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 04-17792 Filed 7-30-04; 2:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P



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