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Ten Fingerprints Announcement

Ten Fingerprints Announcement

Beginning Wednesday, November 7, 2007, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) will take ten fingerprints from each non-immigrant or immigrant visa applicant, using an electronic finger scanner. During the next few weeks, as our staff adjusts to the new equipment, applicants may experience delays. Please plan your visit to AIT accordingly.

The Homeland Security Council decided on June 7, 2005 that the U.S. government standard for biometric screening of foreign nationals coming to the U.S. should transition from two fingerprints to ten fingerprints.

The transition to ten prints will enable the Departments of State and Homeland Security to more effectively process and clear visa applicant fingerprints, which will allow consular officers to more efficiently and effectively screen out applicants who are ineligible due to criminal history records.

This transition is also a crucial step toward establishing interoperability between the US-VISIT program’s Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) and the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) fingerprint databases.

The State Department has committed to implementing ten-print collection for immigrant and non-immigrant visa applicants worldwide by December 31, 2007. Numerous visa-issuing posts worldwide have already made the transition.

On average, this process will take a minute or two longer than the current two-print collection process. All other aspects of visa processing at AIT remain unchanged.

There is no change in the requirements for who must provide fingerprints at the interview. As before, applicants for diplomatic or official visa classes, applicants under 14 or over 79 years of age, and medical emergency cases are exempt from the requirement.

For more information on US-VISIT:

For additional information on IAFIS: