SPECIAL REGISTRATION UPDATE
As of September 11, 2002, INS began special registration requirements for nonimmigrant citizens or nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria at all U.S. ports of entry. Persons from these countries will be photographed and fingerprinted upon entry to the U.S. and will be advised to report to a INS district office at specified times for further processing. All those subject to INS special registration requirements will be required when departing the U.S. to report to an INS inspector at the port of entry/departure. Individuals subject to these requirements may only arrive and depart from the U.S. at specified airports. The penalty for failing to report on departure can include inadmissibility in the future.
Beginning November 15, 2002, all males who were born on or before November 15, 1986, who are nationals or citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria, and who were inspected by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and last admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant on or before September 10, 2002, and who will remain in the United States at least until December 16, 2002, must register with the INS before December 16, 2002.
The second group of countries designated for Special Registration is Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. All males who are nationals or citizens of these countries who were born on or before December 2, 1986, who were inspected by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and last admitted to the United States as nonimmigrants on or before September 30, 2002, and who will remain in the United States at least until January 10, 2003, were required to register on or before January 10th.
Note that although the deadline has passed for these two groups to register, INS has now announced a new period for those who missed the initial deadlines to register without penalty. Males over the age of 16 from these countries may now register from January 27 to February 7, 2003.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan comprise the third group of designated countries. Males born on or before January 13, 1987, and who entered the U.S. as nonimmigrants on or before September 30, 2002 must register between January 11, 2003 and March 21, 2003.
The fourth group of countries is Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kuwait and Jordan. Males from these countries born on or before February 24, 1987, and who entered the U.S. as nonimmigrants on or before September 20, 2002, must register between February 24 and April 25, 2003.
Note, the registration requirement applies to any alien who is a national or citizen of a designated country, regardless of dual nationality or citizenship. If you were born in one of the designated countries, you must register.
To register, you must go to a designated INS office on or before the applicable deadline for your country. Registrants will be fingerprinted and photographed by the immigration officer. They will be required to answer questions, which will be recorded, under oath and will be required to present the following:
(a) Passport and the Form I-94 issued upon admission, and any other forms of government-issued identification;
(b) Proof of residence, such as title to land or a lease or a rental agreement;
(c) Proof of enrollment at an educational institution, if entry was as an F, J, or M;
(d) Proof of employment, if in a nonimmigrant status contingent on employment;
(e) Other identification documents. Note: INS is using credit cards and bank account numbers as "identity documents." This may not be authorized by the law or regulations. The data base does not allow the INS official to proceed to the next section without including some additional form of "identification." A student or employment ID card would appear to be more appropriate than a credit card to establish identity.
Persons registered will be required to return to any of the designated INS offices, within 10 days of each anniversary of the date on which they were initially registered and will undergo the same procedure.
The only exceptions to the registration rules are U.S. permanent residents, persons holding A or G status, persons granted asylum in the U.S., and those who have a pending asylum application filed by specific dates before each required registration period.
Remember, all registered persons must report to the INS at each and every departure from the U.S., no matter how brief the trip outside the US might be, and can only depart at designated airports.
For further information, including a list of INS offices designated to participate in special registration and a list of the airports through which registrants may enter and leave the U.S. check the INS website: http://www.immigration.gov/graphics/lawenfor/specialreg/index.htm
Palma R. Yanni, Esquire
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