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1. Visa Condor (秃鹰签证)确定相关个人是否来自特定国家并满足需要进行额外审查的条件

2. Visa Mantis (螳螂签证)确定相关个人在他们访问美国行程中会否接触到美国的特别技术

国外使馆官员通过光缆递交背调请求给联邦调查局和国务院总部。之后背调的名字自动在FBI Universal Indices (UNI)里面被搜索。


通常85%的背调在72小时之内会自动返回“无纪录”(即FBI数据库中没有和背调人吻合的纪录)。在和国务院的协定中, “无纪录”既表明不反对签发签证。FBI的深度调查分支即包括反恐怖部门,反间谍部门,罪案调查部门,网络部门在无吻合纪录的情况下,不会继续审查被调查个人。重复的调查申请(即在过去120天内完全相同拼写的名字和相同的出生日期的个人)不会被再次调查并将重复的挑查结果返回给国务院。 因为名字和出生日期并不足以将文件和个人互相关联,所以需要额外的调查。辅助的手工名字检测会确定另外10%的背调申请个案为无纪录个案,即大概为95%的无纪录比率。 这通常在背调提出后的1周内完成。剩下的5背调个案被认为是潜在FBI记录的相关人。此时FBI地记录必须被重新审查。 如果调查部门决定对于一个签证申请不反对,这个签证申请会通过FBI的背调公布部门返回国务院。如果FBI对于一个签证申请反对,调查部门会撰写一篇安全意见并转发给国务院。在审查签证申请过程中,FBI会决定哪些是有严重问题并尝试进入美国的个人。


National Name Check Program
The National Name Check Program (NNCP) has the mission of disseminating information from the FBI’s Central Records System in response to requests submitted by federal agencies, congressional committees, the federal judiciary, friendly foreign police and intelligence agencies, and state and local criminal justice agencies. For all except law enforcement requests, the program is to be operated on a fee-for-service basis, with the beneficiary of the name check paying for it, not the American taxpayers. The Central Records System contains the FBI’s administrative, personnel and investigative files. The NNCP has its genesis in Executive Order 10450, issued during the Eisenhower Administration. This executive order addresses personnel security issues, and mandates National Agency Checks (NAC) as part of the pre-employment vetting and background investigation process. The FBI is a primary NAC conducted on all U. S. Government employees. From this modest beginning, the NNCP has grown exponentially, with more and more customers seeking background information from FBI files on individuals before bestowing a privilege – - Whether that privilege is government employment or an appointment; a security clearance; attendance at a White House function; a Green card or naturalization; admission to the bar; or a visa for the privilege of visiting our homeland; more than 70 federal and state agencies regularly request an FBI name check. Two specific visa request categories, Visa Condor and Visa Mantis, are relevant to the hearing today. In addition to serving our regular governmental customers, the FBI conducts numerous name searches in direct support of the counterintelligence, counterterrorism and homeland security efforts of the FBI.
Exponential Growth
Prior to September 11, 2001, the FBI processed approximately 2.5 million name check requests per year. In FY 2002, that number increased to 3.2 million. For FY 2003, the number of requests to date already exceeds 5.6 million and is expected to reach 9.8 million requests. That represents an increase in excess of 300. Attachment A illustrates this explosive increase. This year, the FBI will process approximately 200,000 visa name check requests, including approximately 75,000 Visa Condor requests and 25,000 Visa Mantis requests.
Over Burdened System
I can tell you, Mr. Chairman, that with the advent of new visa screening requirements in late 2001, specifically the Visa Condor program, the FBI was overwhelmed by the increase in names to be checked. We did experience a backlog, and visas requested in the spring and summer of 2002 were delayed beyond the time period travelers had anticipated. We have all but eliminated the backlog, and have worked together with the State Department to ensure that any old visa requests have been accounted for and processed. The days of what some people would characterize as an unreasonable delay have now passed us by. I would now like to explain the process the FBI uses to conduct name checks on these visa requests.
FBI Name Check Process
It may be helpful to the Committee to follow along with Attachment B, a flow chart of the FBI visa name check work process. Consular officers worldwide determine whether a visa request falls into one of the special visa categories requiring additional scrutiny. Two of these categories are Visa Condor, relevant to certain individuals who are from designated countries and who satisfy additional criteria which may make them worthy of additional scrutiny, and Visa Mantis, relevant to certain individuals who will have access during their visit to American special technologies. The consular officer will submit their name check requests by cable, simultaneously to both the FBI and State Department headquarters.
In the next step of the process, the FBI communications center forwards the batches of names to be checked electronically to the name check program. The name is electronically checked against the FBI Universal Indices (UNI). The searches seek all instances of the individual’s name and close date of birth, whether a main file name or reference. By way of explanation, a main file name is that of an individual who is, himself, the subject of an FBI investigation, whereas a reference is someone whose name appears in an FBI investigation. References may be associates, witnesses, conspirators, or a myriad of other reasons may exist to explain why an FBI Agent believed it important to index a particular name in an investigation for later recovery. The names are searched in a multitude of combinations, switching the order of first, last, middle names, as well as combinations with just the first and last, first and middle, and so on. It also searches different phonetic spelling variations of the names, especially important considering that many names in our indices have been transliterated from a language other than English.
If there is a match with a name in a FBI record, it is designated as a “Hit”, meaning that the system has stopped on a possible match with the name being checked, but now a human being must review the file or indices entry to further refine the names “Hit” on. If the search comes up with a name and birth date match, it is designated an “Ident.” An “Ident” is usually easier to resolve.
Resolution Rate
Approximately 85 of name checks are electronically returned as having “No Record” within 72 hours. A “No Record” indicates that the FBI’s Central Records System contains no identifiable information regarding to this individual. By agreement with State, partially due to our concern about the time factors in approving most visa requests, a No Record equates to a No Objection to the issuance of a visa. The substantive investigative divisions in the FBI, (i.e., Counterterrorism Division (CTD), Counterintelligence Division (CD), Criminal Investigative Division (CID) and the Cyber Division (CyD)) do not review visa requests where there is no record of the individual. Duplicate submissions (i.e., identically spelled names with identical dates of birth submitted within the last 120 days) are not checked and the duplicate findings are returned to State.
Because a name and birth date are not sufficient to positively correlate the file with an individual, additional review is required. A secondary manual name search usually identifies an additional 10 of the requests as having a “No Record”, for a 95 overall “No Record” response rate. This is usually accomplished within a week of the request. The remaining 5 are identified as possibly being the subject of an FBI record. The FBI record must now be retrieved and reviewed. If the records were electronically uploaded into the FBI Automated Case Support (ACS) electronic recordkeeping system, it can be viewed quickly. If not, the relevant information must be retrieved from the existing paper record. Review of this information will determine whether the information is identified with the subject of the request. If not, the request is closed as a “No Record.”
The information in the file is reviewed for possible derogatory information. Less than 1 of the requests are identified with an individual with possible derogatory information. These requests are forwarded to the appropriate FBI investigative division for further analysis. If the investigative division determines there is no objection to the visa request, the request is returned to the name check dissemination desk for forwarding to the State Department. If there is an FBI objection to the visa request, the investigative division will prepare a written Security Advisory Opinion (SAO) and forward it to the State Department. In reviewing these visa requests, the FBI has identified individuals attempting to enter the United States who are of serious concern to the FBI.
Processing Times
As in the name checks processes for 70 other agencies, the name check system accurately monitors the status of visa requests in the name check process. The system’s metrics are a dynamic tool, allowing the FBI to identify when to add additional personnel to process visas. The metrics also provide an accurate tool to determine whether the name check process is causing delays for visa requests.
The FBI’s goal is to have all requests completed within 120 days. Attachment C illustrates the current status of Visa Condor names checks, and Attachment D illustrates the same for Visa Mantis name checks. This status was taken on July 3, 2003. For example, for Visas Condor, the FBI received 7384 requests during the month of June 2003. The FBI resolved all but 649 of these requests, for a 92 resolution rate. In the month of May 2003, the FBI received 5,059 Visa Condor requests and has resolved all but 105 of these requests for a 98resolution rate (See Attachment C). For Visas Mantis, the FBI received 2589 requests in the month of June 2003 and resolved 2226, or 86 of them (See Attachment D). Visas Mantis are particularly difficult to resolve due to the predominance of requests from China and the commonality of Asian names.
A common question we receive is, How long does it take to complete a visa request name check? As shown on these graphs, 86 to 92 are completed in 30 days. For both types of visa requests, 98-99 of the requests are resolved in 120 days.
Most name check requests that are over 30 days old are the result of the time required to retrieve and review field office record information. Some delay occurs at substantive analysts’ desks, but this is to be expected. These analysts are assigned to the investigative divisions and are primarily assigned to the analysis of intelligence reports from around the world in order to support on-going investigations, or to support the flow of intelligence to policy makers. These are the best professionals, however, to review information in our records and to then make an informed decision on whether a requester of a visa represents a threat to our homeland, or is interested in illegally acquiring our targeted technology. Nevertheless, as I stated earlier, the FBI’s resolves 99 of all types of visa requests within 120 days.
These numbers provide you accurate information to assess whether, both in time and in numbers, the FBI name check process for visa requests unduly disrupts the legitimate commerce of this nation.
Process Improvement
As I have said, during the spring and summer of 2002 the FBI was unable to adequately account for visa request processing times. This is no longer the case. This was accomplished through clarification of the FBI name check database, software modifications that allowed development of detailed metrics, and the development of an internal FBI tracking system for SAO opinions. With these metrics, the FBI can allocate resources as necessary to meet requirements. And, as I have also already said, the FBI worked closely with State on visa name check procedures. These past six months have seen considerable improvement in the coordination of visa name check processing.
Improperly formatted cables are an obvious weak point in the visa submission process. The State Department submits their names by cable, whereas other agencies submit their requests by disc or tape and formatting errors are returned on disc to the requesting agency. This allows the requesting agency to identify and correct the errors in an electronic format. The State Department is working hard to resolve this problem by developing a system whereby visa requests will be submitted on disc through State as opposed to the current system of separate cables directly to the FBI. The FBI fully supports this effort. Currently, in anticipation of submission of visa requests by disc, the FBI and State Department’s Visa Processing Center are developing common procedures and formats. Recognizing the need for interim measures until the time that State can submit all visa requests on disc or tape, the State Department is batching unresolved cables held within their database and submitting them to the FBI. In order to avoid the duplicate name problem, the FBI has developed special codes and manipulates the name check application for each submission. This is a time consuming, but necessary process to support State’s efforts. This week alone the FBI is running thousands of names submitted by State from State’s database.

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