When do you need your Fingerprints taken for US visa applications?
This article was written by Attorney George Lake of US Immigration firm Blue Lake Law.
For the vast majority of visa applications for the United States, electronic biometric information is taken at the consulate or embassy where the applicant has made their visa interview appointment. In these cases, the applicant will give their fingerprints to the first consular officer they come into contact with – directly before they undergo their consular visa interview.
There are two main exceptions to this and for these two exceptions, a qualified Fingerprint technician is invaluable:
Applicants who wish to file either a non-immigrant or immigrant waiver application
When a US visa applicant has a criminal history they need to provide criminal background checks for the country in which they reside and access their criminal records for the country in which the crime was committed. While not all countries require fingerprints to obtain records, many countries, including the United States, do require in-person fingerprinting to be carried out and submitted to the relevant government department.
This is the only time when a US visa applicant will need to obtain their US criminal background check for US visa purposes. If the applicant has a criminal history in the United States they can apply for an FBI criminal background check which will provide all information needed for their waiver application.
The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) criminal background check is a comprehensive examination of an individual’s criminal history based on fingerprint submissions which will then be forwarded to the FBI for processing. It involves accessing the FBI’s database of criminal records, which contains information compiled from various law enforcement agencies across the United States. It is possible to obtain such a background check from abroad by visiting a registered and approved Fingerprint Technician.
Applicants who are applying for an Immigrant Visa
All applicants applying for an Immigrant Visa to the United States need to provide criminal background checks from all countries in which they have lived since the age of 16. This is required for all Immigrant Visa applicants. The only country for which a criminal background check is not required in this instance is the United States. However, many of our clients require in person fingerprinting to apply for their various criminal background checks for countries such as Canada and Singapore.
Some countries can take weeks to process their criminal background checks so consulting with an experienced immigration attorney or an experienced Fingerprint technician can be invaluable when tight deadlines loom and you need to finish the Immigrant Visa process as soon as possible.
While fingerprinting is required for all consular processes when applying for any type of visa for the United States, not all visa processes require visiting a Fingerprinting Technician. Where an applicant needs a waiver (of any kind) and they have committed a crime in a country where criminal background checks are processed when fingerprints are submitted or where an applicant has lived in a country where fingerprints are needed to process background checks, the applicant will need to visit a Fingerprint Technician who can handle their case as expeditiously and professionally as possible.
Who is George Lake?
George Lake is a legal professional dedicated to providing expert guidance in various aspects of law. As the founder of Blue Lake Law, he has established a reputation for delivering exceptional legal services to clients seeking assistance in navigating the complexities of the legal landscape. With a commitment to integrity and client satisfaction, George Lake specializes in addressing a diverse range of legal matters. His firm, Blue Lake Law, serves as a reliable resource for individuals and businesses alike, offering comprehensive solutions and personalized advice. Explore George his expertise and the services provided by Blue Lake Law at https://bluelakelaw.com