Important FAQs regarding Registration requirements for visitors to the US
WASHINGTON –(PR)-The Embassy has complied
detailed FAQs and their responses covering essential concerns regarding the
Registration requirements for visitors and temporary residents in the US.
Embassy has compiled a set of FAQs and their responses in the proceeding
paragraphs. Please read them carefully if you belong to any one of the groups of
visitors who are required to register. Has special registration of
Pakistanis totally ended?
No. The NSEERS (National Security Entry Exit
Registration System) Special Registration is still continuing while entering and
exiting the United States. Only the 30 to 40-day re-registration and the annual
re-registration have been suspended only for those whose re-registration
deadlines fell after December 2, 2003. But there have been a lot of press
reports claiming that Special Registration has finished.
reports are not accurate. As mentioned earlier, the entry and exit part of
special registration, which is called Port of Entry and Port of Exit
registration is still continuing. Similarly all those Pakistanis whose 30/40 day
re-registration or annual re-registration deadlines fell before December 2,
2003, also had to register. I was supposed to re-register before December
2, 2003, but did not go in for re-registration because of the press reports.
What should I do know?
Immediately report to your nearest ICE (US
Immigration and Customs Enforcement) or CIS (US Citizenship and Immigration
Services) offices and explain to an officer that you were misled by press
reports and you have now voluntarily come in for re-registration. If you are
told that you do not have to register now, please ask the officer to make an
appropriate entry on your passport. Even in case of any reluctance on part of
the officer, please politely insist that you need to have an entry for future
exit registration still in place?
Yes, very much so. Please remember
that all Pakistani nationals who underwent special registration either upon
arrival (Port of Entry) or during the call-in phase (domestic) must re-register
with immigration officials while exiting. Please also remember that you can only
exit from designated points of exit. THE EMBASSY WOULD LIKE TO EMPHASIZE AND
STRESS THAT DEPARTURE REGISTRATION IS MANDATORY WITH NO EXCEPTIONS. Please do
not be misled by an airline representative or any other airport officials in
believeing that you do not need to register at the time of leaving the US.If
I reach the airport late and do not have time before the flight to register, is
there any relief available.
No. According to the law governing special
registration, the responsibility for finding adequate time for departure
registration lies with the individual and not with the US government. In the
scenario described above, it is better to miss the flight and take the next
available one. Failure to register on departure will make you inadmissible into
the United States upon return. Already, many Pakistanis have faced immense
problems because of carelessness in this regard.What other precautions
should I take?
You must ensure that the officer, who is registering you
on exit, stamps your passport or makes an entry confirming that you underwent
departure registration. Please politely insist on such an entry in case there is
any reluctance on part of the officer.I am a frequent business traveler
to the United States. Is there any waiver relief available for me?
there is. You can seek exemption from the CBP (US Customs and Border Protection)
Field Office Director located at the airport from which you intend to exit.
There are no forms available for such a request. You will have to write a letter
to the CBP Port Director, giving reasons for your request. Such a request should
explain the emergent, exigent or unusual circumstances that have warranted such
a request on your part. The letter seeking relief should provide a detailed
description of the type of relief sought, full name, date of birth, the
Fingerprint Identification Number (FIN) which is available on the I-94 form, a 1
x 1 passport size photograph, an Alien No. (if it has been assigned to you. Such
a number starts with the alphabet 'A' and has 8 digits.)
The CBP Field Office
Director will then make a decision in his discretion whether relief can be
granted to you. This official can grant you relief from both port of entry as
well as exit registration. Until such a relief is communicated to you in
writing, you must undergo each and every special registration procedure.I
made a mistake and did not register while exiting. What options do I have
The first option, which is risky and not recommended by this
Embassy, is that you try to return to the United States and during your port of
entry registration, explain the reasons for your not registering on departure.
If you can convince the immigration inspector that your failure to register was
inadvertent or due to any acute family emergency, he might condone your
infringement and allow you entry. But it is more likely that he will declare you
inadmissible and you will be put on the next available flight back to Pakistan.
There is no appeal against such a decision.
The other option is much safer
but also more time-consuming. You should re-apply for a visa to the United
States at the nearest US Embassy and write a detailed letter to the Consular
Officer explaining the reasons for your failure to register while exiting. It is
then upto the Consular Officer to make a decision whether to grant you a fresh
visa overriding your previous infringement or to deny the visa. Please note that
this procedure can take three to six months before approval and there is no
guarantee of any approval. Why is it necessary for me to keep my address
and employment information updated in Immigration records?
who underwent special registration and stayed in the United States. for 30 days
or more must by law notify DHS of any change of address/residence, employment,
or educational institution within 10 days of the change. This rule applies to
permanent residents or green card holders too. The notification must be in
writing on the form, AR-11, designated for reporting these changes.Are
there other reasons for me to be extra vigilant about informing about my change
of address and employment?
Yes there are. The recent change in the
special registration law says that the Department of Homeland Security still has
the authority to require individuals to re-register at any time after giving a
notice of 10 days. This would be done on a case-to-case basis. Now if you were
picked up for this individual re-registration, you would be informed by postal
mail or email. Thus it is very important for you to have your correct email
address and postal address in Immigration records. If for any reason you are not
sure whether this information is correct and up-to-date in the records, please
go to the nearest ICE or CIS office early in the morning ( only 150 appointments
are given each day) and correct the information. Remember if you fail to appear
for re-registration after a notice is sent to you, you would be deemed to be in
non-compliance with the law, which could lead to your being put in deportation
proceedings. SO PLEASE CORRECT YOUR POSTAL ADDRESS AND EMAIL ADDRESS INFORMATION
IN YOUR IMMIGRATION RECORDS BY GOING TO THE NEAREST ICE/CIS OFFICE. I
have heard that the latest change in the law has given some concessions to
students? Is this correct?
Yes this is correct. The new rule provides
that students and exchange visitors (F, J or M nonimmigrant visas) who are
monitored under the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) now
only have to report their change of address to their SEVIS administrator and not
to the Department of Homeland Security. The Embassy would still advise the
students to make hundred per cent sure that their information is entered into
SEVIS before taking advantage of this relaxation. Any students who are not sure
if their educational institution is still fully compliant with the SEVIS system
should keep informing changes in addresses and educational institution to the
Department of Homeland Security.
Please remember that CHANGES IN EMPLOYMENT
ARE NOT COVERED by this rule for students and exchange visitors and they have to
inform the Department of Homeland Security about such changes.
would strongly advise Pakistani nationals to err on the side of caution as a few
minutes of your time complying with immigration requirements can save you a lot
of hassle and discomfort later on. Does the Rule Affect Past or Existing
Violations of Special Registration?
No. The new announcement specifically
states that the new rule does not excuse past failure to comply with the Call-In
deadlines or the 30-40 day follow-up interview or annual re-registration
deadlines. In addition, the new rule does nothing for the people who were placed
in removal proceedings when they appeared for Call-In special
registration. The Nation
"Its a good site. Make it more effective by reducing fee, fee after job & Visa or fee after Ist Months Salary for job seekers in Pakistan & Abroad."
Name: Munawar Mustafa
City, Country: Peshawar, Pakistan
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