US VISIT and NSEERS
The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) is a program developed by the Department of Justice and implemented in September 2002. NSEERS grew from a Congressional mandate to create an entry-exit system to ensure compliance with U.S. immigration laws. NSEERS was the first step toward such a comprehensive entry-exit system - US-VISIT - which was launched by the Department of Homeland Security in January 2004.
NSEERS, also known as "special registration," established a national registry for temporary foreign visitors (non-immigrant aliens) coming from 25 designated countries and others who met a combination of intelligence-based criteria that identified them as a potential security risk. To date, individuals from more than 160 countries have been registered in the NSEERS program. The registry provides detailed information about the background and purpose of an individual's visit to the United States as well as departure confirmation.
In December 2003, Homeland Security suspended certain provisions in NSEERS, including the need to re-register at a Homeland Security office each year, a process commonly known as "domestic registration."
Certain provisions of NSEERS remain in place, however, including the requirement for some foreign nationals to go through the special registration process upon arrival in the United States and to report to immigration officials before leaving the country. Foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the Sudan are required to register at ports of entry. Foreign nationals from all other countries are registered if Customs and Border Protection Officers deem it necessary based on initial questioning upon arrival.
When the US-VISIT Program is fully implemented, it will provide the information necessary to account for nearly all temporary foreign visitors in the United States. Any remaining elements of NSEERS, such as port of entry arrival registration, will become part of the US-VISIT Program.
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