For certain applications or petitions, including Adjustment of Status, re-entry, and naturalization, fingerprinting may be required for the purpose of administering a criminal background check. The USCIS charges a set fee per person (for most applicants) at the time of filing for fingerprinting services. To find out if you must be fingerprinted, check the instructions on your Immigration application or petition form.
If fingerprinting is required for your particular application or petition, also submit the fingerprinting payment fee, payable to USCIS. Do not submit a completed fingerprint card (FD-258) with your application or it will be rejected. After submitting your application or petition and appropriate fees, the USCIS will provide you with an appointment letter with the location of the nearest USCIS authorized fingerprint site. Please read the instructions in the appointment letter, and take it to USCIS authorized fingerprint site when you go to your fingerprint appointment.
National Name Check Program
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services require criminal background checks for petitioners and applicants of certain immigration. All background checks are conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through their National Name Check Program (NNCP). The USCIS uses the NNCP is used to seek background information for the purpose of protecting the United States from espionage and terrorism. Those applying for immigration benefits must successfully pass a background screening if they are applying for the following benefits: asylum, adjustment of status to legal permanent resident, naturalization, cancellation of removal, withholding of removal, and waivers. NNCP request from the USCIS comprise nearly half of all requests made to the FBI’s NNCP. Most name checks are returned to the USCIS as having “no record” within 3 days of their submission.
Make sure not to confuse the FBI’s National Name Check Program with the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FOI/PA). FOI/PA provides copies of FBI information pertinent to a certain FOI/PA request submitted by members of the public. For FOI/PA requests, an FBI FOI/PA analyst searches the subject provided in the FOI/PA request against records maintained by the FBI. If that information is not subject to any exemptions under the FOI/PA, it is released to the person from the public requesting the information. The NNCP accesses records from United States law enforcement and intelligent agencies for the purposes of ensuring national security.
(Updated 10/10/2012 by AD)
For more information on how to file an Adjustment of Status, please click on one of the following topics below: