Labor Immigration Law

United States Labor Immigration Law News and Analysis

Special Registration Program (NSEERS) Ends Effective Today (April 28, 2011)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) will be eliminated effective April 28, 2011.    See the Federal Register notice and WSJ article.

About NSEERS

The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, NSEERS, required individuals from more than 20 predominantly Arab countries to register with the government on arrival and departure from the U.S.    Until today, nationals of Afghanistan,  Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq,  Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan,  Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab  Emirates, and Yemen had to register every time they entered or left the U.S. at a border post.

The manual process required about 30 minutes of additional inspection at a port of entry for those arriving on nonimmigrant visas. Visitors had to register again on exiting the country.

DHS Rationale for Ending NSEERS

According to DHS, the main reason for ending NSEERS is that since the NSEERS requirements were established, DHS has created a number of additional procedures and safeguards which, in effect, duplicate NSEERS’ need for manual registration upon entry into the U.S.

According to DHS,

Over the past six years, the Department of  Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented several new automated systems  that capture arrival and exit information on nonimmigrant travelers to  the United States, and DHS has determined that recapturing this data  manually when a nonimmigrant is seeking admission to the United States  is redundant and no longer provides any increase in security. DHS,  therefore, has determined that it is no longer necessary to subject  nationals from these countries to special registration procedures, and  this notice deletes all currently designated countries from NSEERS  compliance.

For example, the US-VISIT program, in effect since 2004, collects entry and exit information and collects biometrics, to be compared with other government records.   CBP also requires passenger manifests to be provided for passengers arriving by air or sea into the U.S.  There are also a number of international data-sharing agreements, which allow DHS to do better analysis of aliens applying for admission in to the U.S.

Conclusion

As a result of the DHS rule, nonimmigrant  nationals and citizens of these countries are no longer required to  comply with the requirements of 8 CFR 264.1(f), including the  requirement that they exit through designated ports of entry.  Accordingly, nationals and citizens from these countries are no longer  subject to the NSEERS registration requirement and DHS will  no longer register aliens under NSEERS effective on April 28, 2011.

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This article is presented by the Capitol Immigration Law Group PLLC, an immigration law firm serving individual and corporate clients in the Washington, D.C. area and nationwide. We specialize in U.S. labor immigration law and we have successfully represented individuals from more than 30 countries and Fortune 100 companies. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney. For more information, please contact us.