In a December 10, 2007, press release, DHS announced an upgrade to the US-VISIT system from 2- to 10-fingerprint collection in order to enhance security and fingerprint matching accuracy. This change currently applies only to international visitors arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport, which became the first port of entry to collect 10 fingerprints on November 29, 2007. Nine other international airports (Hartsfield-Jackson, Boston Logan, Chicago O’Hare, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, Detroit, Orlando, and New York’s John F. Kennedy) will begin the same 10-fingerprinting collection in the coming months. DHS expects the remaining 278 ports of entry to use the same upgraded system by December 31, 2008.
The U.S. State Department, through consular posts worldwide, already collects fingerprints (10 prints) and photographs in digital format from applicants between the ages of 14 and 79, with some exceptions, when they apply for a U.S. visa. The US-VISIT program allows DHS to check this data against a number of government watch lists. At present, international visitors are required to have only two fingerprints scanned into the system upon arrival to the United States