CBP Security Seal Program (aka: “Holograms”) Fact Sheet

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Department of Homeland Security)

​​CBP Electronic 3078 Ho​logram Application
​​Letter of Intent
​​Hologram Manual for Signatories​

  • *Both required forms and requested documentation must be submitted 5 business days prior to Badge issuance/renewal.
  • The signatory must scan copies of REAL ID compliant documents proving identification, citizenship (and work authorization if not a citizen or resident of the U.S.). Click here for details of what documents satisfy REAL ID compliant documents.
  • *Application and all required documentation must be submitted electronically to [email protected].
  • For more information regarding CBP Hologram Application please read the Hologram Manual for Signatories - Employer Requirements and Responsibilities. Signatories are responsible for administrating all provisions of this handbook.

​​​What is a security seal?

A security seal, more commonly known in Chicago as a “Hologram,” is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) logo printed on the top right corner of the O’Hare International Airport’s (ORD) Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) badge. It indicates the employee was vetted by the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and has been approved access certain areas designated as “CBP security areas.” A red hologram authorizes access to Zone #1. A dark blue hologram authorizes access to Zone #2. Definitions of security zones are mentioned in paragraph #2 below.

Who needs a hologram?

Employees working in or near CBP’s Federal Inspection Service (FIS) areas as well as areas outside the FIS that are near internationally arriving/departing aircraft, personnel, and cargo require a Hologram.

Security areas are broken down into two zones:  

  • Zone #1 (a red hologram) encompasses the Federal Inspection Service (FIS) and any other areas within airport grounds that are in close proximity to aircraft arriving from and departing to foreign destinations. Sterile corridors leading to these aircraft, jet ways, elevators, stairways leading to in-transit facilities.

  • Zone #2 (a dark blue hologram) encompasses those areas outside of the FIS including the envelope of aircraft arriving from or departing to foreign destinations, the ramps, the tarmac, and baggage/cargo staging areas where activities related to international arrivals and departures occur.  

Your employer’s badging signatory should know who does or does not require a hologram and what zone is required if you do.  

Where do I take the paperwork?

The electronic CBP form 3078 and copies of identity, citizenship, and work authorization documents (if required) should be given to your signatory.  He or she will then complete the LOI and the first page of the electronic 3078, scan your documents then send the application via email to CBP.  Once CBP receives the electronic application and your or your employer fails to receive an email from CBP requesting additional information, you can assume your application was approved.  You can then present yourself to a CBP officer at the T3 badging office for a brief face-to-face interview to verify the authenticity of documents presented by your signatory in the application.  Please bring these same identity citizenship and work authorization documents with you to the interview.  

What happens next?

After your interview with a CBP officer, you will be sent to the City of Chicago’s Badging Office to have your ID badge printed. Be sure you see the DHS seal in the top right corner of the badge before leaving the Badging Office. If not, see a city employee at the Badging Office to advise the hologram is missing from your ID badge.

How long does it take?

Five (5) business days from the date we receive a complete, accurate application from your signatory. If you fail to provide documents required by CBP, the application will be denied thirty (30) days from the date CBP received the application from your signatory. 

Can CBP turn me down?

Yes. 19 C.F.R. § 122.183 contains a list of reasons why applicants are denied holograms. Click on the link for details:  Code of Federal Regulations - Denial of access

I’ve changed employers but I’ve always had a hologram. Is it still valid?

Holograms are employer specific. When you change employers, a signatory at your new employer must send CBP a new application for a hologram.  

If I have more questions?

Email: [email protected]

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Area Port of Chicago, Office of Field Operations

(773) 686-2800 x0 (Office)