The Attorney General and the Secretary of State jointly, through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and other Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies the Attorney General or Secretary of State deems appropriate and in consultation with Congress, shall within 15 months after October 26, 2001, develop and certify a technology standard, including appropriate biometric identifier standards, that can be used to verify the identity of persons applying for a United States visa or such persons seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a visa for the purposes of conducting background checks, confirming identity, and ensuring that a person has not received a visa under a different name or such person seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a visa.
The technology standard developed pursuant to paragraph (1), shall be the technological basis for a cross-agency, cross-platform electronic system that is a cost-effective, efficient, fully interoperable means to share law enforcement and intelligence information necessary to confirm the identity of such persons applying for a United States visa or such person seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a visa.
The electronic system described in paragraph (2), once implemented, shall be readily and easily accessible to—
(A) all consular officers responsible for the issuance of visas;
(B) all Federal inspection agents at all United States border inspection points; and
(C) all law enforcement and intelligence officers as determined by regulation to be responsible for investigation or identification of aliens admitted to the United States pursuant to a visa.
Not later than one year after October 26, 2001, and every 2 years thereafter, the Attorney General and the Secretary of State shall jointly, in consultation with the Secretary of Treasury, report to Congress describing the development, implementation, efficacy, and privacy implications of the technology standard and electronic database system described in this section.
There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
(Pub. L. 107–56, title IV, §403(c), Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 344; Pub. L. 107–173, title II, §§201(c)(5), 202(a)(4)(B), May 14, 2002, 116 Stat. 548, 549.)
Last modified: October 26, 2015