If you’re applying for permanent residency or even just a visa to travel to the United States, you’ll need to pay a fee to get fingerprinted by immigration officials. This fee, which usually costs 85 dollars, allows you to gain an appointment at a set location for the biometrics process. You might wonder why fingerprinting is required at all for immigration and travel visas, especially if you have no criminal record. Here’s why fingerprinting is so important to not only the security of the United States but also your own personal security as you gain the necessary documents to visit or reside legally in the Unites States. NATIONAL SECURITY The first and foremost reason why the application process for green cards and other visas is so strenuous is that the Unites States strives to ensure the safety of its citizens. Even though you don’t see yourself as a threat, there’s always the possibility that a criminal or terrorist is trying to gain legal entry. For this reason, fingerprinting each applicant helps to secure a working database of all people who plan to spend time living, studying, or working in the country. If you have a previous criminal history that does not bar your application from being approved, that information will be linked to your fingerprints. Fingerprinting each individual also helps to reduce the chances that somebody can enter the country on a fraudulent visa. Since every legal visa holder has fingerprints in the system, a fraudulent visa holder’s prints will not appear if they are scanned at a port of entry. PERSONAL SAFETY Fingerprinting help to preserve your personal safety from those might steal your passport, visa, or green card or otherwise use your identity. For example, if someone using your green card number is fingerprinted at any point, their prints will not match yours, and they will be arrested. If someone ends up stealing your identity and using your immigration status to get ahead, the fingerprint database can also protect you from debt, accusations of criminal activity, and employment problems that would otherwise be linked to you. Since children under 14 are not fingerprinted by immigration services, you might consider getting the fingerprinting of your children done privately to help protect their identities. MANDATORY SCREENING Because of the above safety provisions, there is no option to wave fingerprinting and biometrics when you’re applying for immigration. Missing your appointment, refusing to pay the fee, or refusing to provide all of your fingers for recording will result in the immediate denial of your visa or permanent residency application. Be sure to take your appointment seriously. Remember that when you have no criminal history, these records will only benefit you. If you get a job in public service, childcare, teaching, medicine, or social services, you’ll need to be fingerprinted and get a background check. Think of the country like one of these companies, except with greater need for risk management. PRIVACY You might be concerned about who has access to your biometric records after …



So, you need to get fingerprinted for a background check. How does fingerprinting work? What’s the best way to prepare for a fingerprint capture? Having a set of fingerprints taken—whether pressed on a card or copied by an electronic scanner—is a painless and quick process for most people. However, there are a few ways you can make it easier on yourself and the operator who takes your prints. UNDERSTAND HOW FINGERPRINTS ARE MADE Old-school fingerprints are captured on cards by pressing the tip segment of each of your fingers—nails up, bulbs down—onto an ink pad. The pad is similar to those used for rubber stamps. The unique pattern on each finger’s bulb is printed on the card by the ink. An electronic scanner takes a picture of your fingertip sections and makes a print from the live scan. Both ink and live-scan fingerprint methods can be used to create the two fingerprint types used for background checks. The first type of print is just a flat image of the center of your fingertip bulb section. The second type of image is made by the operator rolling your finger from nail to nail to capture the entire pattern on the fingertip. PREPARE FOR YOUR FINGERPRINT APPOINTMENT If long sleeves are in season, wear a shirt with loose sleeves that are easy to pull back from your wrists. Avoid wearing dangly bracelets or too many rings on your fingers. To help the operator get the best prints, experts recommend you drink plenty of water the day before so you’re fully hydrated. It’s also wise for you to apply lotion to dry hands a day before your appointment. Hands that have been immersed in water tend to swell and may give substandard prints. For this reason, avoid activities like swimming or washing dishes the day of your fingerprint session. Don’t wash your hands or use sanitizer or lotion directly before your appointment either. HELP THE FINGERPRINT OPERATOR The best way to help the fingerprint operator is to relax and listen carefully to the instructions you’re given. There’s a specific way to make the fingerprints, so the operator will ask you to let him or her guide your fingers at the appropriate time. He or she will gently grasp your hand below the thumb and use their other hand to gently make the prints. If you try to assist—by pressing down when you think it’s time, or by “helping” the operator roll your finger from side to side—you’ll risk smudging or smearing the image. Then, you and the operator will have to start over again. Having someone control their hands is an odd feeling for many people, but the operator is used to the awkwardness of the situation and will put you at ease. If you have arthritis or any other issue that makes your hands sensitive to touch or pressure, do speak up and let the operator know about your condition at the start of your appointment. They will take extra care when …



Being required to get an FBI check into your personal life and background can seem daunting. Many professions today, however, require these as a simple part of the employment verification process. San Diego Livescan in National City performs checks for: School employees Federal employees Independent freelancers Law enforcement professionals Understanding how FBI background checks work is vital to your peace of mind. We make obtaining one easy with our straightforward and streamlined process. From acquiring your criminal and credit histories to walking you through the fingerprinting procedure and ultimately bestowing the right security clearance and licensing, our National City office is here for you. HELPING TO EVALUATE POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES When an FBI check is essential to your position, you might wonder why. Getting the proper licensing and fingerprinting allows hiring managers to get a glimpse of past crimes, any suspicious previous behavior, and it also keeps the potential employer free from any legal liabilities when it comes to appointing the right person to a position. SERVING LA MESA, POWAY AND SURROUNDING AREAS At San Diego Livescan, we understand the need for comprehensive FBI background checks and other employment verification methods. This is why we employ only highly trained and skilled technicians to guarantee that the job is done right the first time. Our cutting-edge services and technologies give us the fastest, most precise results in all of National City, Poway, La Mesa and surrounding areas. Find out more about what we do here by stopping by our office or giving us a call at 619-668-9280 today.