US-VISIT Traveler Program

Traveling to the U.S.

US-VISIT is an office of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tasked with implementing a biometric identification system. It provides technology for biometric data collection and storage, analysis and an up to date watchlist of those traveling to the United States who may pose a security risk. The system assists local, state and federal law enforcement in identifying people visiting the United States.

The mission of the US-VISIT office is to enhance security for U.S. citizens and travelers, ensure legal trade and travel, ensure the stability of the immigration system and protect the rights and privacy of those visiting the U.S.

The following information is included on US-VISIT’s website:

  • Border Security: The DHS works to maintain strong but open borders by using technology and personnel and collaborating with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to keep land, air and sea borders secure, but easy to travel through as well as facilitating trade.
  • Citizenship and Immigration Services: Under the direction of the DHS, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) helps immigrants through the process of becoming U.S. citizens.
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: The rights, liberties and privacy of citizens is a major concern for the DHS, and it places emphasis on protecting these rights while still providing national security.
  • Cybersecurity: In the face of rapidly changing technology, cybersecurity has become a principle concern of the DHS. It partners with utility providers, financial systems and other major organizations to protect citizens and the country from cyber threats.
  • Disasters: When the DHS was organized, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was placed under its control. FEMA and its partner agencies maintain a comprehensive plan to respond to natural and manmade disasters.
  • Economic Security: By disrupting funds for terrorism, fighting counterfeiting and fraud and securing intellectual property rights from piracy, the DHS strives to protect and secure U.S. financial stability.
  • Homeland Security Enterprise: Through a variety of initiatives the mission of the security enterprise is to make sure that the DHS is cost effective while still being able to carry out its mission. The security enterprise also facilitates information sharing between governmental security agencies.
  • Homeland Security Jobs: The agency looks to recruit motivated and engaged employees who are seeking challenging and rewarding careers in immigration and travel security, law enforcement, mission support and prevention and response.
  • Human Trafficking: Discovering and preventing human trafficking is a major aspect of maintaining border security as well as protecting the rights of immigrants. The DHS established the Blue Campaign to increase public awareness and prevent human trafficking.
  • Immigration Enforcement: Under the direction of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the DHS works to pursue and apprehend people living illegally in the United States. Because there are an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants, ICE’s policy is to identify and pursue those individuals who pose the largest threat to local and national security.
  • International Engagement: Through collaboration with other nations, the DHS works to enhance U.S. national security and economic interests.
  • Law Enforcement Partnerships: The DHS cultivates and maintains partnerships with local and state law enforcement agencies in an effort to coordinate national and border security.
  • Preventing Terrorism: The DHS was created in the wake of 9/11 in order to better respond to terror threats posed on the U.S. Its main initiative remains preventing future attacks.
  • Transportation Security: The Transportation Security Administration was also founded in response to 9/11, and it is tasked with maintaining security in the nation’s airports, using the latest in security technology to remain ahead of evolving threats.

Additional Resources


Person using a US-VISIT biometrics machine.

(Image by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)