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Immigration Law

NSEERS - National Security Entry-Exit Registration System


Special Registration Procedures

The United States set up a program known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) after September 11, 2002, for the protection of those residing in the United States. NSEERS is targeted specifically toward foreign nationals born in specific countries on or before November 15, 1986. Men and women from the following countries must register with NSEERS:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

NSEERS is a way to keep track of certain people from one of these countries who would like to enter or leave the United States. There are more than 35 million immigrants registered in this system and they are required to register with immigration authorities at a port of entry or at the ICE office.

A foreign national who has to go through this procedure, must notify the authorities of any address changes, changes in employment and changes in schools attended. The notification has to be done within 10 days from the date the change takes place and after the foreign national has been in the United States for 30 days or more. Students can make their notification of address changes through Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.

It is possible that foreign nationals who have to register with NSEERS would have to show proof of their registration with NSEERS if they want to file a petition or application with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If that person is unable to provide proof of registration, he or she would then be sent by the USCIS to an ICE office for an NSEERS interview to find out what can be done at that point.

Those who are in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa and who fail to register regularly or meet the requirements of NSEERS during their stay in the U.S. will be considered out of status. They are then subject to being arrested, being held in detention, given fines and/or being removed from the United States. This could also affect any future rights this person would have for coming to the United States. These decisions, however, are made on an individual basis and depend on the circumstances of that person’s particular case.

United States citizens and lawful permanent residents, refugees, certain asylum applicants, those who have been granted asylum, diplomats and those who have been admitted into the U.S. with “A” or “G” visas are exempt from registering under NSEERS.

The good news for those who have to register with NSEERS, but have not gone through the process correctly, is that they are able to request a waiver for all or parts of the special registration requirements as long as this is done within one year. The request has to be made in letter form, and needs to be sent to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The CBP will give rulings only for requests that include relief from arrival or departure registrations. The request letter, which is sent to the director of the port of entry where the foreign national will be applying for entry, needs to be accompanied by a detailed description of the relief being requested, the name of the applicant, date of birth, a Fingerprint Identification Number and one passport style photograph. Along with all of these, any documents that support the person’s application should be included.

It is important to note that if the waiver is not approved in writing prior to the interview or the person’s departure date, the person needs to appear for the interview or report to the port of departure office.

In addition, if someone wishes not to go through the registration procedures on a regular basis, that person needs to provide a written explanation for why he or she should be excluded from the special registration procedures. The request needs to be sent to the INS district office in the area where that person is living. While that person is waiting for a response, all the special registration procedures need to be followed until the INS notifies the person in writing that the request has been approved.

For more information about immigration news, immigration laws, immigration policies, proposed immigration laws, border enforcement, green cards, citizenship, employment visas, family visas, naturalization, and other immigration subjects, please visit Immigration Law Answers and DFW Immigration Law Blog.

From Immigration-Law-Answers-Blog posted 2006-12-30.

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