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Visa Security Program


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The Visa Security Program’s mission is to maximize the visa screening and vetting process as a counterterrorism tool to identify and disrupt transnational terrorist and criminal networks seeking to harm the United States

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), through its Visa Security Program (VSP), assigns special agents to diplomatic posts worldwide to conduct law enforcement visa security activities and provide training to Department of State (DOS) offices regarding threats, trends, and other topics affecting visa adjudication. VSP utilizes the automated screening to focus on five key activities creating value at posts around the world:

  • Screens 100% of non-immigrant visa applications at the earliest point of the visa process before DOS,
  • Vets applications with derogatory information, using law enforcement, and open source data
  • Provide a unified Department of Homeland Security recommendation to DOS on a subject’s visa eligibility,
  • Conduct criminal investigations to disrupt criminal and terrorist networks
  • Provide training to Department of State Consular Affairs regarding threats, trends, and other topics affecting visa adjudication

VSP prevents criminals, terrorists and others who would exploit the legal visa process to enter the United States. The program serves as the agency's frontline in protecting the United States against terrorist and criminal organizations. In addition to screening names against lists of known terrorist or criminal suspects, VSP relies on HSI special agents to identify potential unknown terrorist or criminal suspects and stop them before they can reach the United States.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/06/2019