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Homeland Security

National Security Entry Exit Registration System (NSEERS)

As of December 2003, The Department of Homeland Security decided to suspend the NSEERS re-registration requirement that mandated aliens to re-register after 30-days and one year of continuous presence in the United States. Prior to changes made to the NSEERS requirements, all individuals registered under NSEERS were required to re-register after thirty days if initially registered at a port-of-entry, and annually if they are remaining in the United States past one year. The annual anniversary date for re-registration was based on the last time that an individual registered. Individuals had a ten-day window in which to show up for their annual interview. Those individuals required to report for their yearly interview were expected to return to the same office at which they registered last year. If they had moved, they would go to the nearest ICE or CIS office or sub-office. The willful failure to do so was a criminal violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the willful failure to register also rendered an alien deportable.

Since the changes were made in 2003, there would no longer be a 30-day or one-year re-registration requirement, effective with the publishing of the new rule in the Federal Register. In place of the previous requirement, the new rule allowed DHS, as a matter of discretion, to 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. The rule also provided that when an alien who is monitored under Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) notified DHS of a change of address or change of educational institution through SEVIS, it also constituted a notification for the purposes of NSEERS registration.

The law requires aliens from designated countries to provide a current address to the INS and to furnish such additional information as the Attorney General may require. Exercising this provision on a one-time basis, the same information required of incoming aliens at the 30-day registration point may be required of certain aliens from designated countries who are already residing in the United States.

The aliens subject to this special registration will also be required to notify an INS agent of their departure from the United States at the exit port. Such exit records are necessary to help identify and apprehend those aliens who overstay their visas. An alien's failure to report his exit would render him ineligible to return the United States.

The NSEERS registration system will be similar to those systems already in place in most European countries. Some European countries maintain systems that require even closer tracking:

  • Aliens in France Must Register Within 7 Days. An alien who stays for an extended period of time in France, for example, must register with the local prefecture of the national police within one week of arriving in the country, every 12 months, and whenever he changes address. The proposed initiative combines the European registration model with an entry-exit monitoring system.
  • Aliens in Great Britain Are Required to Register Within 7 Days. Registration is required within 7 days and whenever an alien changes address, university or job, he must notify the local police station and provide passport, visa, proof of financial means, proof of enrollment in school or employment, and proof of a place to live.
  • Aliens in Germany Must Register and Carry Registration Papers on Their Person at All Times. In Germany, an alien must register when he establishes residence and whenever he changes address. He must provide his passport and documentation of intended activities while in the country and carry registration papers on his person at all times.

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