UNCLASSIFIED (U)

9 FAM 303.6 

(u) Facial Recognition

(CT:VISA-1155;   09-16-2020)
(Office of Origin: CA/VO)

9 FAM 303.6-1  (U) Statutory and regulatory Authorities

9 FAM 303.6-1(A)  (U) Immigration and Nationality Act

(CT:VISA-167;   09-06-2016)

(U) INA 105(b) (8 U.S.C. 1105(b)); INA 221(b) (8 U.S.C. 1201(b)).

9 FAM 303.6-1(B)  (U) Code of Federal Regulations

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

(U) 22 CFR 41.105; 22 CFR 42.65(f).

9 FAM 303.6-1(C)  (U) Public Law

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

(U)  Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1994 and 1995 (Public Law 103-236, Section 140(c)); Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-173, Section 303).

9 FAM 303.6-2  (U) Submitting Facial Recognition (FR) Requests

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-2(A)  (U) FR Procedures

9 FAM 303.6-2(A)(1)  (U) Photo Standards

(CT:VISA-978;  11-26-2019)

a. (U) Photographic Standards:  Visa applicants must provide with their applications un-mounted, full-face photographs of themselves and derivative applicants, taken within the past six months.  The photos must meet the following specific standards to be accepted by the FR software:

(1)  (U) The photo must be good quality; grainy photos, overexposed photos, or photos that are too dark are not acceptable.  Instant-type photos are acceptable, if the photographs submitted meet all specifications.

(2)  (U) Glossy, untouched, un-mounted, on a white or off-white background.  You should not accept photos taken in front of busy, patterned, or dark backgrounds.

(3)  (U) If a hard-copy photograph is submitted, it should measure 2 inches square (roughly 50 mm square) with the head centered in the frame.  The head (measured from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin) should measure between 1 to 1 3/8 inches (25 mm to 35 mm) with the eye level between 1 1/8 inch to 1 3/8 inches (28 mm and 35 mm) from the bottom of the photo. 

(4)  (U) The applicant must be shown in full frontal view, with full head, from crown of the head to the tip of the chin and from hair line side-to-side, with the eyes wide open and have a neutral facial expression.  A natural smile, as shown in Photo Examples on Travel.State.Gov, can be considered a neutral facial expression; and

(5)  (U) The hair should be exposed, unless local or religious custom prohibits this, in which case a head covering is permitted.  The key requirement is that the photograph clearly identifies the applicant.  In addition, the eyes must be open, and the photo must be of a front view.  The head should be centered and should take up at least half, but no more than two thirds, of the picture.  The dimension of the facial image must be about one inch (33 mm) from the chin to the top of the hair.

(6)  (U) Headcoverings:  Generally, applicants must have their photo taken without head covering of any kind.  You may accept a photo with a head covering only when the presentation of a photo without head covering would conflict with the applicant’s religious practices.  A photograph depicting a person wearing a head covering must show enough of the face so as to establish identity.  A photo depicting a person wearing a traditional facemask or veil, which conceals portions of the face and does not permit adequate identification, is not acceptable.  A photo is required of all applicants regardless of age.

(7)  (U) Eyeglasses:  Effective for applications filed on or after November 1, 2016, eyeglasses must not be worn in a photo provided for a visa application, except in rare circumstances such as urgent travel in the USG interest where a new photo is unavailable.  Another exception is when eyeglasses cannot be removed for medical reasons; e.g., the applicant has recently had ocular surgery and the eyeglasses are necessary to protect the applicant’s eyes.  A medical statement signed by a medical professional/health practitioner must be provided in these cases.  If the eyeglasses are accepted for medical reasons:

(a)  (U) The frames of the eyeglasses must not cover the eye(s) (consistent with International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines; see 7 FAM 1340 Appendix E paragraph e).

(b)  (U) There must not be glare on eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).

(c)  (U) There must not be shadows or refraction from the eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).

b. (U) Problems with Photo Quality:  On occasion, you will encounter visa applicants whose appearance varies slightly from that of the photographs they submit with their NIV applications.  In many instances, the Visa Office attributes these variances to recent advances in digital photography software programmed to flatter the subject of the photograph.  You may use the photograph if it otherwise appears to be of the applicant.  The color variance is not a significant issue because current facial recognition (FR) technology does not employ color.  Rather, it converts color pictures to black and white before matching.  Uniform contrast or brightening enhancement will not significantly impede FR unless it is exaggerated to the point of saturation.

9 FAM 303.6-2(A)(2)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-481;   01-02-2018)

Unavailable

(1)  Unavailable

      Unavailable

(2)  Unavailable

(3)  Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-2(A)(3)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-167;   09-06-2016)

a. Unavailable

b. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-2(B)  (U) Voluntary FR on Demand Searches

(CT:VISA-2;   11-18-2015)

Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-2(B)(1)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-2(B)(2)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-806;   05-21-2019)

a. Unavailable

(1)  Unavailable

(a)  Unavailable

(b)  Unavailable

(c)  Unavailable

(d)  Unavailable

(2)  Unavailable

(a)  Unavailable

(b)  Unavailable

(c)  Unavailable

(d)  Unavailable

(3)  Unavailable

(a)  Unavailable

(b)  Unavailable

(c)  Unavailable

(d)  Unavailable

(e)  Unavailable

(4)  Unavailable

(a)  Unavailable

(b)  Unavailable

(c)  Unavailable

(5)  Unavailable

(a)  Unavailable

(b)  Unavailable

b. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-2(C)  (U) Role of VO/DO

(CT:VISA-1107;   07-16-2020)

a. Unavailable

b. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-3  (U) Facial REcognition (FR) resPonses

9 FAM 303.6-3(A)  Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-3(A)(1)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-2;   11-18-2015)

a. Unavailable

b. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-3(A)(2)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-2;   11-18-2015)

a. Unavailable

b. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-3(B)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-1107;   07-16-2020)

Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-3(B)(1)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-1107;   07-16-2020)

a. Unavailable

b. Unavailable

c.  Unavailable

d. Unavailable

e. Unavailable 

9 FAM 303.6-3(B)(2)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-1107;   07-16-2020

a. Unavailable

b. Unavailable

c.  Unavailable

d. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-3(B)(3)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-1107;   07-16-2020)

Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-3(C)  Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-3(C)(1)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-1107;   07-16-2020)

a. Unavailable

(1)  Unavailable

(2)  Unavailable

(3)  Unavailable

(4)  Unavailable

(5)  Unavailable

b. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-3(C)(2)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-1107;   07-16-2020)

a. Unavailable

(1)  Unavailable

(2)  Unavailable

(3)  Unavailable

(4)  Unavailable

b. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-3(D)  (U) FR for Urgent and Non-Urgent Cases

9 FAM 303.6-3(D)(1)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-1107;   07-16-2020)

Unavailable

(1)  Unavailable

(2)  Unavailable

(3)  Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-3(D)(2)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-280;   01-19-2017)

Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-4  (U) Creating and deleting Facial Recognition (FR) lookouts

9 FAM 303.6-4(A)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-2;   11-18-2015)

Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-4(B)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-4(B)(1)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-2;   11-18-2015)

a. Unavailable

b. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-4(B)(2)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-4(B)(3)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-2;   11-18-2015)

a. Unavailable 

b. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.6-4(B)(4)  (U) User Guide for FR Enrollment on Demand

(CT:VISA-2;   11-18-2015)

(U) An FR on Demand User Guide providing step-by-step, illustrated instructions is available by clicking a link at the bottom of the FR on Demand Report.  Any user with questions about submitting lookouts using the FR Enrollment on Demand report should consult with a liaison officer from either CA/VO/F or CA/FPP.

 

UNCLASSIFIED (U)