Special Registration Procedures
The United States has a proud tradition of welcoming immigrants and visitors. This tradition is renewed and enriched by each and every law-abiding immigrant and visitor. This same tradition is reflected in the United States Government's duty to serve and protect its citizens, residents, and foreign visitors.
Terrorist attacks have claimed the lives of thousands of Americans, as well as nationals from many other countries. As a result, new regulations have gone into effect to help ensure the safety of all persons in the United States. These regulations require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to register certain individuals in the interest of national security or law enforcement.
We understand that in many cases these procedures may cause inconvenience. However, your cooperation is requested so that our vision in which citizens, immigrants and visitors can live without fear of terrorist threats will become a reality.
Special Registration Procedures require:
- Being registered upon arrival to and departure from the United States;
- Notifying U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within ten days of any changes in address, employment, or school after remaining in the U.S. for 30 days or more.
Who Has to Follow the Special Registration Procedures?
Inspecting officers at ports of entry may identify nonimmigrants who will have to follow the special registration requirements.
The above will apply only to persons who want to enter the United States for a temporary period of time (such as a tourist or a student, etc.). Persons who have been approved to stay permanently in the United States do not have to follow special registration procedures at this time.
How Will I Know if I Have to Follow the Special Registration Procedures?
The immigration inspectors will notify you each time you enter the United States if you are required to follow the special registration procedures.
Will I Be Delayed at the Airport Upon Arrival in the U.S.?
We cannot know how long you will be delayed because it will depend upon how many persons will be receiving special registration processing on the same day that you arrive in the U.S. We recommend you leave at least three hours between arrival time and a connecting flight.
Entering The United States
What Will Happen When I Come to the U.S.?
An officer will inform you if you will need to follow the special registration procedures. You will be instructed to go to an area where you will be fingerprinted, photographed, asked to show documents, and interviewed as to the length and purpose of your stay in the United States. Additional information on how to follow the special registration procedures will be provided to you when you are registered.
If I’m Traveling with Family Members, What Will Happen to Them?
You may be temporarily separated from your family for the length of time required to carry out the described special registration procedural steps. Depending on the individual circumstances, some or all of your family members may also be required to follow the special registration procedures, in which case they too will be fingerprinted and photographed.
While You Are In The United States
Am I Required to do Anything While I am in the U.S.?
Not at this time. DHS, as a matter of discretion, may notify individual nonimmigrant aliens subject to NSEERS registration to appear for one or more additional continuing registration interviews in those particular cases where it may be necessary to determine whether the alien is complying with the conditions of his or her nonimmigrant visa status and admission.
Leaving The United States
What do the Special Registration Procedures Mean When I Leave the U.S.?
It is your responsibility to make certain that your departure is known and documented by an inspecting officer, each and every time you leave. You are required to report your departure from the United States by appearing before an inspecting officer on the same day that you leave. These new regulations include restrictions as to which airports, seaports or land entry/exit points that you can use to depart from the United States. When you are initially registered, you will be given a list of those airports, seaports or overland exit ports you can use to leave the United States.
What Will Happen if I do not Report My Departure from the U.S.?
Depending on your personal circumstances, you might not be permitted to return to the United States. A consular officer or an inspecting officer will decide if the reasons you give for failing to report your departure satisfy the conditions set by the Attorney General and the Secretary of State that would allow you to re-enter the country.
If I Have Already Registered on a Prior Trip, Do I Have to Register Again?
Yes. You will have to begin this process again each time you enter the United States. Please contact the Consular Section at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for more information, visit www.ice.gov (for Special Registration information) or telephone:
National Customer Service Center
(800) 375-5283 (or TTY 1-800-767-1833 for the hearing impaired).
For more information, visit the following site http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/