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H.R. 5253 (114th): Strong Visa Integrity Secures America Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 16, 2016.


Strong Visa Integrity Secures America Act

This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the Department of State to assign, in a risk-based manner, State Department employees to at least 30 visa-issuing diplomatic and consular posts based upon the following criteria:

the number of nationals of a country in which such posts are located who were identified in U.S. terrorist databases, such a country's counterterrorism cooperation with the United States, the adequacy of border and immigration control of such country, terrorist organization activity in such country, and the number of negative security advisory opinions regarding nationals of such country. Such employees shall, in addition to other duties, screen admissions applications against federal criminal, national security, and terrorism databases.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall:

establish within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement a visa security advisory opinion unit to respond to State Department requests for visa security reviews; and provide, in a risk-based manner, for remote pre-adjudicated visa security assistance at posts that are not assigned such employees. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall:

screen electronic passports at U.S. entry airports by reading each passport's embedded chip, and utilize facial recognition or other biometric technology to screen travelers at such airports. Electronic passport screening shall apply to U.S. citizens, nationals of a visa waiver program country, and nationals of any other foreign country that issues electronic passports.

Facial recognition or other biometric technology shall apply to nationals of a visa waiver program country.

The CBP shall, in a risk-based manner, continuously screen individuals issued any visa and individuals who are visa waiver program nationals against criminal, national security, and terrorism databases.

The annual visa overstay report is revised.

DHS shall ensure that certain foreign student information is available at each U.S. port of entry to CBP officers who inspect aliens seeking U.S. admission.