DHS recently announced that it will be expanding the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program (US-VISIT) to include lawful permanent residence, effective January 18, 2009.

Foreign nationals subject to US-VISIT are required to provide finger scans, photographs and/or other biometric identifiers upon arrival to the United States. DHS then checks the provided biometric data against government databases to identify suspected terrorists, known criminals or individuals who have previously violated U.S. immigration laws.

Since its inception in January 2004, US-VISIT has biometrically screened more than 130 million foreign nationals when they have applied for admission to the United States. Based on the screenings, DHS has taken adverse action against more than 3,800 foreign nationals based on information obtained through the screening process.

DHS indicated that it is expanding US-VISIT screening to lawful permanent residence in order to deter fraud, especially in light of the fact some older permanent resident cards do not contain expiration dates. Additionally, DHS stated that US-VISIT will allow DHS on a more regular basis determine if a lawful permanent resident has been convicted of any crime which would render him/her subject to removal from the United States.