Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The Department will apply this rule's requirements only to aliens seeking to be admitted pursuant to a nonimmigrant visa who travel through designated air and sea ports. The rule exempts: 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 the rule; children under the age of 14; persons over the age of 79; classes of aliens the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State jointly determine shall be exempt; and an individual alien the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State, or the Director of Central Intelligence determines shall be exempt. A
The US-VISIT program is a high priority initiative of the Department that is designed to improve overall border management through the collection of arrival and departure information on foreign visitors and immigrants who travel through our nation's air, sea and land ports. The goals of US-VISIT are to enhance the security of the United States, its citizens, permanent residents and visitors; to expedite legitimate travel and trade; to ensure the integrity of the U.S. immigration system; and to safeguard the personal privacy of foreign visitors and residents. By recording more complete arrival and departure information, the US-VISIT program will not only meet various Congressional mandates for an integrated, interoperable, and automated entry exit system for aliens as discussed below, but it will also enhance the security and safety of citizens, residents and visitors by verifying foreign national travelers' identities through the comparison of biometric identifiers, by authenticating their travel documents, and by checking their data against appropriate law enforcement and intelligence systems. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, highlighted the need to improve national security by returning integrity to the U.S. immigration system. This requires developing better methods for identifying aliens who are inadmissible to the country as well as those who overstay their lawful admission periods. At the same time, the country needs procedures and systems that facilitate legitimate travel, commerce, tourism, education, international communication, and other benefits that flow from welcoming law-abiding citizens of other countries into the United States. The US-VISIT Program was created to help DHS meet all of these law enforcement and service goals.
The principal law that mandates the creation of an automated entry exit system that integrates electronic alien arrival and departure information is the
In addition, section 217(h) of the
In late 2001 and 2002, Congress passed two additional laws affecting the development of the entry exit system, in part, in response to the events of September 11, 2001. Section 403(c) of the
The legislative requirements for biometric identifiers to be utilized in the context of the entry exit system were significantly strengthened with passage of the
Section 303(b)(2) requires that “[n]o later than October 26, 2004,” all ports of entry must have equipment and software installed “to allow biometric comparison and authentication of all United States visas and other travel and entry documents issued to aliens, and passports” that are required to be issued by VWP countries. 8 U.S.C. 1732(b)(2). The current statutory language also requires that by that same date, VWP countries must have a program in place to issue tamper-resistant, machine-readable, biometric passports that comply with biometric and document identifying standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 8 U.S.C. 1732(c)(1). The statute also states that on or after October 26, 2004, any alien applying for admission under the VWP must present a passport that is machine-readable, tamper-resistant and that uses ICAO-compliant biometric identifiers, unless the unexpired passport was issued prior to that date. 8 U.S.C. 1732(c)(2). The entry exit system must include a database that contains alien arrival and departure data from the machine-readable visas, passports, and other travel and entry documents. 8 U.S.C. 1731(a)(2). In developing the entry exit system, the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State must also make interoperable all security databases relevant to making determinations of alien admissibility. 8 U.S.C. 1731(a)(3).
In addition, the entry exit system component must share information with other systems required by the
The US-VISIT program requirements that foreign nationals provide biometric identifiers when they seek admission to the United States are further supported by the Department's broad authority to inspect aliens contained in section 235 of the
Many other provisions within the INA also support the implementation of the US-VISIT program, such as the grounds of inadmissibility in section 212, the grounds of removability in section 237, the requirements for the VWP program in section 217, the electronic passenger manifest requirements in section 231,
Yes. By integrating all the available arrival and departure data on aliens who arrive through the air and sea ports of entry that currently exists in the electronic systems of DHS and DOS and deploying the integrated system at those ports of entry, the Department has met the first
Through an amendment to 8 CFR 235.1(d), the Department may require aliens who are arriving at United States air and sea ports of entry to provide fingerprints, photographs, or other biometric identifiers to the inspecting officer. The Department will collect fingerprints and photographs from aliens applying for admission pursuant to a nonimmigrant visa upon their arrival at air and sea ports of entry and upon departure if they exit through certain locations. Departure inspection will be conducted through pilot programs at a limited number of departure ports, identified by notice in the
At amended 8 CFR 235.1(d)(ii), the rule states that failure by an alien to provide the requested biometrics necessary to verify his or her identity and to authenticate travel documents may result in a determination that the alien is inadmissible under section 212(a)(7) of the INA for lack of proper documents, or other relevant grounds in section 212 of the Act.
New rule 8 CFR 215.8 states that the Secretary of Homeland Security may establish pilot programs at up to fifteen air or sea ports of entry, designated through notice in the
This rule also amends 8 CFR 214.1(a) to state that if a nonimmigrant alien is required under section 235.1(d) to provide biometric identifiers, the alien's admission is conditioned on compliance with any such requirements. Similarly, if the alien is required to provide biometrics and other information upon departure pursuant to 8 CFR 215.8, the nonimmigrant alien's failure to comply may constitute a failure of the alien to maintain the terms of his or her immigration status.
Finally, the rule makes clear by amending 8 CFR 235.1(f) that all nonimmigrant aliens will be issued the Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record regardless of whether they come through an air, sea or land port of entry, unless they are otherwise exempted from the I-94 requirement. This amendment clarifies that air and sea carrier passengers will continue to be issued I-94s which must be surrendered upon departure unless the I-94 was issued for multiple entries by the alien.
As used in this rule, a “biometric identifier” is a physical characteristic or other attribute unique to an individual that can be collected, stored, and used to verify the claimed identity of a person who presents himself or herself to a border inspector. To verify identity, a similar physical characteristic or attribute is taken from the person who presents himself or herself and it is compared against the previously collected identifier. Examples of biometric identifiers include, but are not limited to, the face (
The Department has determined that the national security and public safety interests of the nation necessitate the implementation of this rule as an immediately effective interim rule with provision for public comment after the effective date. The collection of biometrics from foreign nationals seeking to enter or depart the United States will greatly enhance the Government's ability to identify persons who are a threat to the public and to national security. The longer the Department delays in collecting biometrics from visa-holders and eventually other foreign nationals, the greater chance that a person who has been previously identified as a threat to the public may not be timely identified through his fingerprints, photographs or other biometrics and may enter the United States without his true identity being detected.
The Department has further determined that this rule is necessary to give effect to the legislative mandates for utilization of biometric identifiers in the entry exit system component of the US-VISIT program as described in the
Congress has stated that “no later than October 26, 2004,” biometrics must be utilized with all travel and entry documents that DHS and DOS issue to aliens and that machines capable of verifying the identities of foreign travelers and authenticating their documents through biometrics must be at all ports of entry. 8 U.S.C. 1732(b). The Secretary of Homeland Security has determined that waiting until the last minute (
The Department does encourage and welcome public comments on this rule and the manner in which it will be implemented. The Department will fully consider all comments submitted by the comment period as it prepares a final rule and before it expands the program to other categories of foreign nationals. See discussion of the “Good Cause Exceptions” below.
This interim rule applies only to aliens applying for admission pursuant to a nonimmigrant visa who arrive in or depart from the United States through designated air and sea ports. The rule exempts: (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 the rule, (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, and (v) an individual alien the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State, or the Director of Central Intelligence determines shall be exempt. However, as a routine matter, only nonimmigrant visa-holders will be affected by this rule.
The Department initially plans to take a digital photograph and two fingerprints from each nonimmigrant alien who presents a visa at designated air or sea ports of entry. The Department, however, reserves its right to expand the types of biometric identifiers required in the future where doing so will improve the border management, national security, and public safety purposes of the entry exit system. Additional biometric requirements will be implemented in compliance with section 403(c) of the
The Department has chosen to collect two fingerprints and photographs, in part, because they currently are less intrusive than other forms of biometric collections and because the combination of these biometric identifiers are an effective means for verifying a person's identity. Also, historically fingerprints and photographs have been the biometrics of choice within the law enforcement communities and the travel industry. As the deployment of more comprehensive technologies becomes feasible, however, the Department may collect additional biometric data to improve its ability to verify the identity and determine the admissibility of nonimmigrant aliens.
As required by section 403(c) of the
On arrival at air and sea ports of entry, inspectors will scan two fingerprints of the foreign national with an inkless device and will take a digital photograph of the person. This information, as well as other information that the person provides, will then be used to assist the border inspector in determining whether or not to admit the traveler. Upon exit from the United States at designated air and sea ports, the foreign national traveler will go to a work station or kiosk to scan his travel documents, have his photograph compared, and to provide his fingerprints on the same type of inkless device that is used at entry.
The Department will make reasonable efforts that are also consistent with the Government's need to verify an alien's identity to accommodate any person with disabilities which prevent him or her from complying with the requirements of this rule for fingerprinting, photographs or other biometric collections. We will follow all required procedures that are applicable to government action under the
The fingerprints and photograph(s) of the alien will be entered initially into an existing system called IDENT The alien's fingerprints and photographs will be compared against the biometric information already stored in IDENT to determine whether there is any information that would indicate the alien is an imposter or otherwise inadmissible. In addition, IDENT and the other technology associated with US-VISIT will permit the inspecting officer to compare the alien's fingerprints and photographs with any such biometric information previously captured.
DOS is currently implementing a program on a phased-in basis for taking fingerprints of many categories of visa applicants who have been approved or denied and storing those fingerprints and photographs in IDENT. This DOS-collected biometric information may also be accessed through the Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) by inspectors at the ports of entry in the United States. The inspecting officer will be able to compare the biometrics associated with the person who applied for the visa at the consular office abroad against the biometrics of the person who is present at the port of entry. Once the machine readers are in place at the ports of entry, this process will be fully automated and the visas and certain other travel documents will be capable of being scanned and compared electronically. An alien's name, biometric information and other identifying information will also be checked against various law enforcement and intelligence data for information that may identify him or her as inadmissible to the United States or as a threat to national security or the public safety. In the air and sea context, much of the information on the alien is already collected via the electronic passenger manifest process required by section 402 of the
At this time, travelers who seek to enter under the VWP are not affected by this rule. However, under current law, an alien will not be admitted under the VWP on or after October 26, 2004, without a machine-readable, tamper-resistant passport that meets ICAO biometric standards for photographs, unless his passport is unexpired and was issued prior to that date. 8 U.S.C. 1732(c)(2). The machines that DHS must have in place at all ports of entry by that same date will also be capable of reading the ICAO-compliant biometrics in any VWP alien's passport. 8 U.S.C. 1732(b)(2).
This rule does not affect foreign nationals entering the U.S. through land ports of entry. Aliens entering through land ports of entry need only meet the current requirements in the law. However, the rule does apply to Canadian and Mexican citizens who enter through air and sea ports of entry as outlined below. At present, the Department will not apply the biometric collection requirements of this rule to those Canadian citizens who travel on temporary visits to the United States and who do not apply for admission pursuant to a nonimmigrant visa. As usual, Canadians who are lawful permanent residents of the United States must possess a Permanent Resident Card (PRC) or other evidence of their permanent resident status; they will not, however, be routinely fingerprinted or photographed. The Department, as it always has, reserves the right to require fingerprints or other identifying information from any individual whom it has reason to believe may not be who he or she claims.
Mexicans currently must present visas, Border Crossing Cards (BCC), or other appropriate evidence of their immigration status to enter the United States. Since October 1, 2002, the law has required that a biometric characteristic (
The notice that is published elsewhere in this issue of the
The Department intends to implement departure inspection through pilot programs at a limited number of departure ports. The Department has identified thirty departure ports as candidates at which it will next implement biometric collection. The Department anticipates that, within the next few months, it will implement departure biometric collection at approximately fifteen of those ports of entry. This rule therefore authorizes the Secretary to establish pilot programs for departure inspection at up to fifteen air and sea ports, to be identified through notice in the
Through those pilot programs, the Department will test different methods to collect the required information from nonimmigrant aliens as they depart the United States through the designated ports of entry. The Department is currently exploring several different methods and processes, including but not limited to self-serve kiosks and hand-held scanners. The pilot program will enable the Department to conduct a cost benefit analysis of the different processes. The Department welcomes comments on how to implement biometric collection at time of departure. After reviewing the reliability, efficiency, and cost of those pilot programs, and receiving comments from the public regarding the departure
Yes. Aliens subject to this rule who exit through designated air and sea ports where pilot programs are implemented will be required to “check out” at work stations in those air and sea ports and to provide requested information and biometrics. The information that a traveler provides on departure will be verified and matched against any available information that he or she provided upon inspection and that was stored in the systems that comprise US-VISIT. This information will also be used to identify persons who have overstayed their authorized periods of admission, to compile the overstay reports required by
The exit collection mechanism at special work stations or kiosks will be structured to include international instructional icons, illustrating how the alien will submit biometrics and travel documents for scanning. DHS or contract personnel will be available, at initial stages, to assist travelers covered by the first increment of US-VISIT in learning how the exit process works.
Certain individuals remain subject to the National Security Entry Exit Registration System (NSEERS) regulations to depart through specific ports and undergo special departure procedures.
Nonimmigrant visa holders, except those subject to NSEERS, may continue to depart the United States through any port, even those locations where biometrics are not currently being collected on exit. The Department recommends that any alien whom the Secretary designates to be covered by this rule's departure requirements and who chooses to depart from a location where US-VISIT departure procedures are not in place may wish to preserve any evidence that he or she did indeed depart the United States. Such evidence could include a passport stamp of admission to another country or a used airline ticket showing the person left the United States in a timely manner. Such information may be useful to show to a consular or immigration officer in case there is ever any future question about whether the alien properly left the United States. Individuals who have an I-94 Arrival Departure Record that must be surrendered upon departure should be certain to return this form promptly to the appropriate DHS division as required on the form to ensure that the individual's departure will be entered into appropriate DHS systems. In addition, the departure of individuals who leave on air or sea carriers that submit electronic passenger departure manifests to DHS/CBP will be recorded in DHS systems and should help to prove when the alien departed. However, not all carriers are currently able to submit this information electronically. The Department recognizes that there may be some interim confusion about whether covered foreign nationals overstayed their last periods of admission where there is no evidence in the US-VISIT systems of their departure. The Department anticipates that as departure procedures are expanded to all air, sea and land border ports, such confusion and potential for inaccurate determinations that a person overstayed will be significantly reduced.
No, there are no additional fees for travelers required by this interim rule. DOS and DHS may need to adjust the fees for visas and other immigration documents that utilize biometrics in the future, but the Departments will follow all required
In FY 2003, the US-VISIT program spent $190 million for the biometrics portion of the program. For FY 2004, the cost of implementing the biometric collection and verification procedures at air and sea ports of entry and departure locations is anticipated to be approximately $103 million. The funds for the equipment and other requirements to support the biometric procedures come from the approximately $380 million that Congress appropriated in FY 2003 for development of the entry exit system component of US-VISIT and from the $330 million total appropriated for FY 2004.
This rule provides that an alien who refuses to provide biometric identifiers when seeking admission to the United States in order to assist inspectors in verifying his or her identity and authenticating his or her travel documents may be deemed inadmissible under INA, section 212(a)(7) (failure to provide appropriate documents), or other applicable grounds of inadmissibility in INA, section 212. For example, the inspector may deny admission under INA, section 212(a)(7) if he or she is unable to determine whether the applicant is presenting a document that is truly his and the inspector is unable to collect a biometric that can be verified against the fingerprints and photographs associated with the document. The rule does not attempt to identify every ground of inadmissibility that may apply because each case may present different circumstances that skilled inspectors are trained to assess and adjudicate. The rule does not change any of the existing criteria for inadmissibility, but allows inspectors to consider a failure to provide requested biometric identifiers as a factor in their admissibility determinations. In some circumstances, such as an individual who cannot physically provide clear fingerprints, a failure to do so will not necessarily result in an inadmissibility determination, provided that the inspector is otherwise satisfied that the person is who he claims to be and has appropriate authorization to enter the country. This rule also amends 8 CFR 214.1(a) to state that if a nonimmigrant alien is required under 8 CFR 235.1(d) to provide biometric identifiers, the alien's admission is conditioned on compliance with any such requirements.
An alien who fails to comply with the departure requirements may be found in violation of the terms of his or her admission, parole, or other immigration status. This rule states that an alien who is covered by the requirements to
The Department intends to focus its enforcement of departure requirements in this rule on cases where the alien willfully and unreasonably fails to comply with this regulation. The rule provides that an alien's failure to follow the departure procedures may be considered by an immigration or consular officer in making a discretionary decision on whether to approve or deny the alien's application for a future immigration benefit. The rule does
The Department is aware of this concern and is taking all possible steps to prevent congestion and delays in immigration and customs processing at the ports of entry and the departure locations. On entry, the Department anticipates that an average of only 15 additional seconds per nonimmigrant visa holder will be needed to complete processing as a result of the added biometric procedures. The Department arrived at this estimate after piloting the process on a voluntary compliance basis at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport. Individuals who are not required to provide biometrics at this time (
While the Department does not anticipate longer wait times at ports of entry due to US-VISIT processing, a number of mitigation strategies have been developed, not unlike those already available to CBP under other conditions which result in backups. However, as the US-VISIT program expands, the Department will continually reassess the issue of delays to reduce any negative effects.
As noted above, the Department does not believe that immigration and customs processing will be significantly delayed at the ports of entry or the departure locations. The Department believes that over time, the US-VISIT system will facilitate travel for those with biometrically-enhanced travel documents and others for whom the system contains travel records. Public comments are invited on ways that delays and negative effects on travel, trade, commerce, tourism and other desired aspects of immigration can be alleviated or minimized.
No, United States citizens and lawful permanent residents will not be required to provide biometric identifiers under this rule. U.S. citizens must continue to present passports as required by 22 CFR 53, unless an exception under that regulation applies. Lawful permanent residents must present documents evidencing their status as described in 8 CFR 211.
Each country maintains the right to establish its own procedures and requirements for entry by foreign visitors. The Department, in coordination with DOS, will work with other governments that wish to institute programs of biometric identification in order to ensure that they are fair, efficient, accurate and no more intrusive than necessary.
The rule exempts: (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 the rule, (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, and (v) an individual alien the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State, or the Director of Central Intelligence determines shall be exempt. An immigration inspector retains discretion to collect an alien's biometrics if, in the inspector's discretion, such action is necessary to determine the exact age of the alien and whether he or she is exempt from the requirements of this rule.
The Department has determined that most nonimmigrant visa-holders for whom ten-print fingerprinting has been waived for registration purposes under 8 CFR 264.1(e)(1-2) must nevertheless comply with the requirements of this interim rule for the collection of biometrics (two fingerprints and a photograph) for purposes of entry and exit inspection. This includes nonimmigrants who are in the United States for less than one year, as well as nonimmigrants who are citizens of countries that do not fingerprint U.S. citizens who temporarily reside in their countries.
The ten-print fingerprinting that has been waived for these categories of nonimmigrants under 8 CFR 264.1(e)(1-2) is done for purposes of alien registration under INA, sections 262-266 and is
DHS believes that the national security of the country, public safety and the integrity of the immigration system necessitate requiring most nonimmigrant visa holders to provide fingerprints and photographs for identity checks, law enforcement background checks, and determinations of admissibility.
No, the Department has determined that there is no conflict between this rule and
The biometric and other information available in IDENT, APIS, ADIT and the other systems associated with the US-VISIT program will be available to CBP officers at ports of entry, special agents in the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), adjudications staff at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to DOS consular officers and other staff involved with the adjudication of visa applications at overseas posts, and to other DHS, BTS, ICE, CIS, CBP, appropriate officers of the United States Intelligence Community, and DOS personnel and attorneys when needed for the performance of their duties. Other employees and divisions of DHS, such as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), may also have access to the biometric and other information on aliens. In addition, section 414(c) of the
The Department's Privacy Office will exercise oversight of the US-VISIT program to ensure that the information collected and stored in IDENT and other systems associated with US-VISIT is being properly protected under the privacy laws and guidance. US-VISIT will also have its own Privacy Officer to handle specific inquiries and to provide additional oversight of the program.
Finally, the Department will maintain secure computer systems that will ensure that the confidentiality of individuals' personal information is maintained. In doing so, the Department and its information technology personnel will comply with all laws and regulations governing government systems, such as the
Foreign nationals who are subject to the US-VISIT biometric collection requirements of this rule are only required to follow the specified procedures on entry and exit where the Department has implemented the procedures and publicly announced them, as it has with respect to nonimmigrant visa-holders who travel through designated air and sea ports. Certain aliens whose presence in the United States warrants monitoring for national security or law enforcement reasons remain subject to the NSEERS special registration procedures at 8 CFR 264.1(f) and its implementing notices.
Under the original NSEERS program, special registrants had to comply with both arrival and departure requirements for biometrics collection and additional questioning, and also with a requirement to re-register after 30 days and on an annual basis. The mandatory 30-day and annual re-registrations were suspended on December 2, 2003.
However, nonimmigrants subject to NSEERS and to this US-VISIT rule who do not comply with the procedures for fingerprinting and photographing run similar risks that they could be deemed ineligible for future visas, admission or other discretionary immigration benefits. Compliance with this rule, as with the NSEERS regulations, is deemed a condition of a nonimmigrant's admission and maintenance of status for purposes of INA, section 214. The information that NSEERS aliens provide on arrival and departure is kept in IDENT and a special NSEERS system that will be integrated with all of the other foreign national arrival and departure data that are required to be kept in the entry exit system component of US-VISIT.
Yes. The Department welcomes and encourages the public to comment on all aspects of this rule and its implementation, as well as other aspects of the US-VISIT program that may not be covered by the rule itself. We will consider all comments carefully and anticipate that many of them will help us to improve the program. The Department is particularly interested in comments on the clarity of this rule and how it may be made easier to understand; methods for meeting the US-VISIT program goals; means to communicate the procedures to the public, including any expansions in the application of this rule; ways to reduce any potentially negative effects of the rule on legitimate travel, trade and tourism; uses for the biometric information to be collected; privacy protections for the information; methods for ensuring accuracy of the information collected; procedures for situations where persons with disabilities cannot provide the requested biometric identifiers; and ways to enhance national security and public safety interests.
Members of the public may also wish to follow the activities and recommendations of the congressionally-mandated DMIA Task Force through its Web site at
Implementation of this rule as an interim final rule with a request for post-effective date public comments is based upon the “good cause” exceptions found at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d)(3). Pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), the Department has determined that delaying implementation of this rule to await public notice and comment is unnecessary, as well as contrary to the public interest and the national security of the nation. It is in the public interest and furthers our national security to implement requirements immediately that will allow for the collection and comparison of biometrics of aliens seeking admission in to the United States. These requirements will greatly enhance the ability of the Department to confirm the identities of nonimmigrant aliens seeking admission into the United States, and will allow for improved biometrics-based searches of watch lists, including law enforcement and intelligence data bases containing information on known and suspected terrorists. Such tools will increase the border security of the United States by helping DHS officers to identify persons who pose a threat to the nation. Before further expansion of the rule's implementation to more categories of aliens, the Department anticipates that it will have sufficient opportunity to consider the public comments generated by this interim rule, as well as to publish a final rule. For the same reasons, pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Department finds that there is good cause for making the rule immediately effective. Therefore this rule is immediately effective upon publication in the
Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), requires a determination as to whether a regulatory action is “significant” and therefore subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and to the requirements of the Executive Order. The Department has determined that this rule is a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,
The Department has performed a preliminary analysis of the expected costs and benefits of this interim final rule. The anticipated benefits of the rule include: (1) Improved biometric identification of foreign national travelers who may present threats to public safety and the national security of the United States; (2) enhancement of the Government's ability to match an alien's fingerprints and photographs to other law enforcement or intelligence data associated with identical biometrics; (3) improved identification of individuals who may be inadmissible to the United States; (4) improved cooperation across international, Federal, State, and local agencies through better access to data on foreign national