Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) – A little known resolution procedure

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) is a procedure to allow persons who have experienced difficulties during their travel screening at airports or crossing U.S. land borders to address the issues and prevent future problems upon entry. Homeland Security says this program is part of an effort by the departments of State and Homeland Security to welcome legitimate travelers while still securing our country from those who want to do us harm. When going through immigration some people are pulled aside and sent to “secondary” inspection because something has been flagged in their record. This can be a result of mistaken identity, a travel record that did not properly record your timely exit from the country and incorrectly shows that you overstayed your authorized time on a previous entry or other mistaken derogatory information that is shown on your record. Secondary inspection can also be caused by fingerprints that were incorrect or of poor quality along with a myriad of other issues. Secondary inspection may also be a result of random screening and what some believe is based on bias towards certain groups of people.

Secondary inspection can result in missing connecting flights or being stuck for hours at the airport after a long trip. DHS indicates that they will work with you to resolve travel-related issues when:

  • You were not able to print a boarding pass from an airline ticketing kiosk or from the Internet
  • You were denied or delayed boarding
  • A ticket agent “called someone” before handing you a boarding pass
  • You were told:
    • your fingerprints were incorrect or of poor quality
    • your photo did not match the travel document
    • your personal information was incomplete or inaccurate
    • you are on the “No Fly List”
  • You want to
    • amend a traveler record because of an overstay as a result of not submitting the required I-94 when exiting the United States
    • ensure your biometric record in the Department of Homeland Security Systems is corrected if inaccurate.
  • You believe
    • you were unfairly detained during your travel experience or unfairly denied entry into the United States
    • the U.S. government’s record of your personal information is inaccurate

It should be noted that the TRIP program does not address travel issues related to mishandled bags or poor customer service.

In order to use DHS Trip to resolve future problems in travel, one may complete an online form and provide information about the problem and documentation that they believe would resolve the issue. The form and documentation may also be mailed but TRIP is processed more quickly if done online. One may also have an attorney handle this for you.

DHS Trip is not a difficult process but may save you a great deal of time and aggravation if your traveler’s record contains incorrect information.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this process or other immigration questions.

Linda M Kaplan