DHS withdraws proposed regulation to expand biometrics collection

11 May 21

UNITED STATES

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has withdrawn a proposed regulation that would have significantly expanded biometrics collection.

Key Points:

  • USCIS proposed the regulation in September to expand biometrics collection requirements to any applicant, regardless of age, including U.S. citizen sponsors; require more types of biometrics, including palm prints, iris images and voice recognition, and, in some cases, DNA; and increase frequency of biometrics collection, including continuous screening until an applicant becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen. In addition, under the proposal, biometrics collected by USCIS would have been shared with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • USCIS withdrew the proposed rule pursuant to President Joe Biden’s Feb. 2 Executive Order 14012 on legal immigration and the administration’s priorities to ease barriers and burdens in the immigration system.
  • DHS will continue to require submission of biometrics where appropriate.

BAL Analysis: The proposed rule would have significantly expanded biometrics collection and, in some cases, may have prolonged processing times. With the withdrawal of the proposed rule, however, current rules regarding biometrics collection remain in place.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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