In a proposed rule published in the Federal Register on September 11, 2020, DHS proposes to change the way it defines, collects, and uses biometrics.

Read the proposed rule, published at 85 FR 56338 (September 11, 2020).

  • Public comments on the proposed rule must be submitted to DHS on or before October 13, 2020 [30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register].
  • Public comments on the Paperwork Reduction Act section of the proposed rule (the Forms discussed therein) must be received on or before November 10, 2020 [60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register].

DHS summarizes the proposed rule in the rule preamble:

DHS "proposes to amend DHS regulations concerning the use and collection of biometrics in the enforcement and administration of immigration laws by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)."

  • "First, DHS proposes that any applicant, petitioner, sponsor, beneficiary, or individual filing or associated with an immigration benefit or request, including United States citizens, must appear for biometrics collection without regard to age unless DHS waives or exempts the biometrics requirement.

  • Second, DHS proposes to authorize biometric collection, without regard to age, upon arrest of an alien for purposes of processing, care, custody, and initiation of removal proceedings.

  • Third, DHS proposes to define the term biometrics.

  • Fourth, this rule proposes to increase the biometric modalities that DHS collects, to include iris image, palm print, and voice print.

  • Fifth, this rule proposes that DHS may require, request, or accept DNA test results, which include a partial DNA profile, to prove the existence of a claimed genetic relationship and that DHS may use and store DNA test results for the relevant adjudications or to perform any other functions necessary for administering and enforcing immigration and naturalization laws.

  • Sixth, this rule would modify how VAWA and T nonimmigrant petitioners demonstrate good moral character, as well as remove the presumption of good moral character for those under the age of 14.

  • Lastly, DHS proposes to further clarify the purposes for which biometrics are collected from individuals filing immigration applications or petitions, to include criminal history and national security background checks; identity enrollment, verification, and management; secure document production, and to administer and enforce immigration and naturalization laws."

DHS also proposes revisions to numerous USCIS forms to implement the proposed regulatory changes. The following are ones frequently encountered in higher education:

  • I-131, Application for Travel Document – Reentry Permit, Refugee Travel Document, Advance Parole Document, Revision of a currently approved collection
  • I-134, Affidavit of Support, Revision of a currently approved collection
  • I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, Revision of a currently approved collection
  • I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Revision of a currently approved collection
  • I-485J, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under INA Section 204(j)
  • I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  • I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  • I-566, Inter-Agency Record of Request A, G or NATO Dependent Employment Authorization or Change/Adjustment To/From A, G, NATO Status
  • I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status