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Special Registration Has NOT Ended ?Many Requirements Continue

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January 2004
Special Registration Has NOT Ended ?Many Requirements Continue

Special Registration Has NOT Ended ?Many Requirements Continue

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The reports that Special Registration has "ended" are NOT correct. The most significant change in Special Registration that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced at the beginning of December, 2003 is that it is "suspending" the requirement of (1) annual re-registration applicable to all registrants and (2) 30/40-day follow-up interviews applicable to port-of-entry registrants.���The new rule applies only to registrants whose re-registration deadline or 30/40-day deadline is on or after December 2, 2003. All other requirements and the Special Registration program itself are not changed and remain in effect. Anyone who does not comply with all the continuing requirements of Special Registration could be subjected to denial of admission to the U.S., denial of immigration benefits, possible criminal prosecution, and/or removal proceedings.

All Special Registrants continue to be subject to the following requirements.

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Departure Registration. Every person who was specially registered at either Call-In or POE continues to be subject to "departure registration." This has NOT changed. Special Registrants must (1) depart only from specially designated ports and (2) comply with special departure processing, which involves an appearance before a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. Turning in the I-94 or being processed by airline personnel does NOT satisfy this requirement. Processes for having this requirement waived were added by the interim rule, but the standards for the waivers are quite high.���

Reporting Changes of Address, Employment, or Educational Institution. Persons who were or are registered and who remain in the U.S. for 30 days or more must notify DHS of any change of address/residence, employment, or educational institution within 10 days of the change. The notification must be in writing on the form, AR-11, designated for reporting these changes. The form is available at www.uscis.gov. The new rule provides that F, J or M nonimmigrants entered into the SEVIS system no longer have to comply with this requirement if the change of address/residence or educational institution is reported through SEVIS within 10 days of such change. This exception does NOT apply to changes of employment.

The new Federal Register 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 thousands of people who were placed in removal proceedings when they appeared for Call-In.

Port-of-Entry (POE) Registration: Nonimmigrants who are citizens or nationals of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya and Sudan will be subject to Special Registration upon entry to the United States. Others can be designated for Special Registration on a case-by-case basis.

Re-Registration: The interim rule says that DHS can require selected individuals to re-register at any time, with notice of only 10 days.���The interim rule provides that notice of the re-registration requirement may be given by any means, including regular mail, e-mail or publication of a notice in the Federal Register. It is very important for anyone who has ever been registered under Special Registration to be vigilant and watch for information about such a requirement.

DREAM Act Goes To Senate For Vote

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Many in the immigration community have been following the status of the DREAM Act, which allows those who have been in the US for five years and graduated from high school here, to apply for permanent residency.

By a 16-3 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee, on October 23, passed S.1545, the bipartisan DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2003).


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