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U.S. Digital
Immigration Credentials
Encouraging Innovation, Ensuring
Diversity, and Enabling a Global Ecosystem
Jared Goodwin, Division Chief
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Management Directorate, Office of Intake and Document Production
Why Digital Credentials?
• USCIS issues high-value, authoritative credentials to immigrants
and non-immigrants in the United States
• This is where the world is going, where the agency is going, and
what our Customers expect when it comes to ease and
convenience
• Ability to issue, renew, extend and revoke digital credentials in a
standardized manner
• Complements our physical credentials; does not replace them
Why Now?
• Existence and maturity of open, global standards that enable our
Customers to have visibility into, and control of their interactions
• As a benefit-granting agency with global reach, using open standards to
ensure broad acceptability and usage of our credentials is critical for
USCIS
• We now have multi-year experience and expertise in contributing to,
supporting and learning from the open, global standards development
and implementations
• Global interoperability of solutions is an important consideration
to prevent technology/vendor lock-in
USCIS Implementation Priorities
• Not a requirement; a choice!
• Starting with the digital Permanent Resident Card (PRC),
immigrants will be invited to request a digital version when
they receive the physical credential
• Immigrant can continue to conduct all Government
transactions with their existing physical credential
• Eliminate “phone home”
architecture/technology/implementations
• Eliminate “back-channel” interactions between verifiers
of the credential and the issuer (USCIS) which are not
visible to the credential holder
• Support for selective disclosure capabilities to provide
the holder of the credential granular control over what
information they can share and when
• Encourage and support a plurality of independent,
interoperable, standards-based implementations to
counter vendor/technology lock-in, and mitigate
perverse incentives that accrue market power to entities
that can result in a gatekeeper functionality between the
Government and its customers
USCIS Implementation Standards
W3C Verifiable Credentials & W3C Decentralized Identifiers
5
W3C VC/DID architecture is an
evolution of existing models that:
• Enables an individual to have
control over their data
• Addresses the “phone
home” problem
• Provides selective disclosure
capability with informed
consent
• Solves the issue where an
identifier serves as both
entity identifier and an
authenticator (i.e. Social
Security Number)
• Supports global resolution of
an Issuer’s identifier to its
public key(s) & their retrieval
• Encourages an open
ecosystem with multiple
implementations to foster
competition
• The W3C VC Data Model Standard identifies an abstract component called a “Verifiable Data Registry”
which in our implementation we refer to as a “Metadata (or Public Key) Resolver”
• USCIS supports and require a Bring-Your-Own-W3C-DID-in-Digital-Wallet in our implementation
US Immigration Credential Ecosystem
6
• Interactions
between the
Immigrant
and
Government
• Interactions
between the
Immigrant
and the
private sector
7
https://www.w3.org/TR/vc-data-model/
https://www.w3.org/TR/did-core/
https://www.w3.org/TR/vc-data-model/
https://w3c-ccg.github.io/citizenship-vocab/
Online or In-Person Presentation
Digital Permanent Resident Card
Global Support for W3C VCs & DIDs
8
Global acceptance and usage of W3C VC and
DID Standards …
• by Governments (Canada, EU, Germany,
New Zealand etc.) and
• the Private Sector (Microsoft, NACS,
Square/Block etc.) of …
… interoperability standards, technologies and
approaches funded, refined, used and
championed by DHS over the last 7+ years
9
https://canada-ca.github.io/ucvdcc/
US-Canada Collaboration
USCIS & CBP <> TBS & ISED
Opportunity to work together on:
• Approaches to accept digital credentials issued by other Countries for benefits
adjudicated by USCIS
• Open and common security, privacy and interoperability baselines for digital wallets
• Enabling wallet choice and selection capabilities for individuals
• Enabling cryptographic agility in verifiable credential solutions
Deliveringan OperationalCapability
Competitive
Global
Solicitation
No .gov system + synthetic data
in Phases 1-3
.gov system + operational data
in Phases 4-5
Phase 1
•Delivery of a
Minimum
Viable
Product
Phase 2
•Full
Capability
Build
Phase 3
•Red Team
Testing
Phase 4
•Operational
Validation
Phase 5
•Initial
Operating
Capability
11

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Digital Immigrant Credentials Go Global

  • 1. U.S. Digital Immigration Credentials Encouraging Innovation, Ensuring Diversity, and Enabling a Global Ecosystem Jared Goodwin, Division Chief U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Management Directorate, Office of Intake and Document Production
  • 2. Why Digital Credentials? • USCIS issues high-value, authoritative credentials to immigrants and non-immigrants in the United States • This is where the world is going, where the agency is going, and what our Customers expect when it comes to ease and convenience • Ability to issue, renew, extend and revoke digital credentials in a standardized manner • Complements our physical credentials; does not replace them
  • 3. Why Now? • Existence and maturity of open, global standards that enable our Customers to have visibility into, and control of their interactions • As a benefit-granting agency with global reach, using open standards to ensure broad acceptability and usage of our credentials is critical for USCIS • We now have multi-year experience and expertise in contributing to, supporting and learning from the open, global standards development and implementations • Global interoperability of solutions is an important consideration to prevent technology/vendor lock-in
  • 4. USCIS Implementation Priorities • Not a requirement; a choice! • Starting with the digital Permanent Resident Card (PRC), immigrants will be invited to request a digital version when they receive the physical credential • Immigrant can continue to conduct all Government transactions with their existing physical credential • Eliminate “phone home” architecture/technology/implementations • Eliminate “back-channel” interactions between verifiers of the credential and the issuer (USCIS) which are not visible to the credential holder • Support for selective disclosure capabilities to provide the holder of the credential granular control over what information they can share and when • Encourage and support a plurality of independent, interoperable, standards-based implementations to counter vendor/technology lock-in, and mitigate perverse incentives that accrue market power to entities that can result in a gatekeeper functionality between the Government and its customers
  • 5. USCIS Implementation Standards W3C Verifiable Credentials & W3C Decentralized Identifiers 5 W3C VC/DID architecture is an evolution of existing models that: • Enables an individual to have control over their data • Addresses the “phone home” problem • Provides selective disclosure capability with informed consent • Solves the issue where an identifier serves as both entity identifier and an authenticator (i.e. Social Security Number) • Supports global resolution of an Issuer’s identifier to its public key(s) & their retrieval • Encourages an open ecosystem with multiple implementations to foster competition • The W3C VC Data Model Standard identifies an abstract component called a “Verifiable Data Registry” which in our implementation we refer to as a “Metadata (or Public Key) Resolver” • USCIS supports and require a Bring-Your-Own-W3C-DID-in-Digital-Wallet in our implementation
  • 6. US Immigration Credential Ecosystem 6 • Interactions between the Immigrant and Government • Interactions between the Immigrant and the private sector
  • 8. Global Support for W3C VCs & DIDs 8 Global acceptance and usage of W3C VC and DID Standards … • by Governments (Canada, EU, Germany, New Zealand etc.) and • the Private Sector (Microsoft, NACS, Square/Block etc.) of … … interoperability standards, technologies and approaches funded, refined, used and championed by DHS over the last 7+ years
  • 9. 9 https://canada-ca.github.io/ucvdcc/ US-Canada Collaboration USCIS & CBP <> TBS & ISED Opportunity to work together on: • Approaches to accept digital credentials issued by other Countries for benefits adjudicated by USCIS • Open and common security, privacy and interoperability baselines for digital wallets • Enabling wallet choice and selection capabilities for individuals • Enabling cryptographic agility in verifiable credential solutions
  • 10. Deliveringan OperationalCapability Competitive Global Solicitation No .gov system + synthetic data in Phases 1-3 .gov system + operational data in Phases 4-5 Phase 1 •Delivery of a Minimum Viable Product Phase 2 •Full Capability Build Phase 3 •Red Team Testing Phase 4 •Operational Validation Phase 5 •Initial Operating Capability
  • 11. 11