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USCIS "Special Registration" Advisory

For

Certain Nationalities

Revised - March 14, 2003

Purpose 
This advisory has been prepared by the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) to provide you with information on the many recent changes in federal regulations.  In response to the events of September 11, 2001, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and the United States Department of State (DOS) have instituted many important changes that you should be aware of as they may significantly influence your stay in the U.S. as well as your travel plans.  Please be advised that nationals of certain countries must register their physical presence in the U.S. with the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Special registration applies to nationals of:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.  We have revised this advisory as the Citizenship and Immigration Service has added Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan and Kuwait to the list of countries whose nationals are required to register.  We strongly encourage you to visit or contact the ISSO if you have any questions.

Special Registration for Certain Nationalities Upon Entry to the U.S.
Effective September 10, 2002, the US government imposed special  "registration" requirements on all persons entering or returning to the US on a temporary visa (not a green card) who were born in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan or Syria, or any persons the USCIS inspections officers determine that fit certain security profiles.  Registration means a person is fingerprinted, photographed and interrogated upon entry and must report back to an USCIS office 30 days after entering the US.  Until now, registration only affected certain persons traveling into the US and did not apply to persons who resided in the US but did not travel internationally.

Special Registration for Certain Nationalities Already in the U.S.
The USCIS has now announced that for the first time, special registration will be required of certain persons who are already inside the U.S.  This will affect many of our international students and scholars. Please be advised that a willful failure to comply with this "Special Registration" constitutes a failure to maintain nonimmigrant status and will render the alien deportable.

Procedures for Special Registration
The above-described individuals must report to the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the John F. Kennedy Building at Government Center in Boston.  The USCIS offices are open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m.  The offices are closed on the third Friday of every month. Individuals required to report to USCIS for Special Registration will:

  1. Answer questions under oath before an immigration officer.  The answers will be recorded.
  2. Present the following evidence of legal status in the United States:
    1. All travel documents including but not limited to: passport, I-94 card issued upon admission, Form DS-2019 (or IAP-66), Form I-20, H-1B approval notice or O-1 approval notice.
    2. Proof of residence - rental agreement or housing contract with the University.
    3. Proof of valid immigration status including but not limited to: certificate of full-time attendance for students or proof of academic activities/employment from academic department.
    4. Any information as requested by the USCIS officer.  We suggest you have your financial documentation with you, including bank account and credit card information.
  3. Be fingerprinted and photographed by the USCIS officer.

At the time of the initial registration, the registrant will be informed of his annual reporting obligations and of the requirement to notify the USCIS of any changes of address.

Nationals of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan and Kuwait
Effective February 24, 2003 all individuals born in, or citizens of, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan and Kuwait meeting the following qualifications are required to report to the USCIS for Special Registration by April 25, 2003.

  1. All males over the age of 16 (born on or before February 24, 1987) who are
  2. Nationals (defined by USCIS as "a person owing permanent allegiance to a state") or citizens of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan and Kuwait and
  3. Were admitted into the United States on or before September 30, 2002 and plan to remain in the United States until at least April 25, 2003.

Special registration as described above applies to all non-immigrants (including those with dual citizenships) EXCEPT U.S. Permanent Residents, those in A or G visa status, and those individuals who applied for asylum on or before January 16, 2002.  If you wish, you may have an attorney present with you when you appear before the officer at the USCIS.  Please check the Federal Register for more information at the following web address:

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2003/pdf/03-879.pdf (Acrobat PDF File)

Nationals of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan
Effective January 13, 2003 all individuals born in, or citizens of, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia meeting the following qualifications are required to report to the USCIS for Special Registration by March 21, 2003.

  1. All males over the age of 16 (born on or before January 13, 1987) who are
  2. Nationals (defined by USCIS as "a person owing permanent allegiance to a state") or citizens of Armenia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and
  3. Were admitted into the United States on or before September 30, 2002 and plan to remain in the United States until at least March 21, 2003.

Special registration as described above applies to all non-immigrants (including those with dual citizenships) EXCEPT U.S. Permanent Residents, those in A or G visa status, and those individuals who applied for asylum on or before December 16, 2002.  If you wish, you may have an attorney present with you when you appear before the officer at the USCIS.  Please check the Federal Register for more information at the following web address:

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2002/02-32045.htm

Nationals of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
Effective December 2, 2002 all individuals born, in or citizens of, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates or Yemen meeting the following qualifications are required to report to the USCIS for Special Registration by January 10, 2003.

  1. All males over the age of 16 (born on or before December 2, 1986) who are
  2. Nationals (defined by USCIS as "a person owing permanent allegiance to a state") or citizens of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates or Yemen and
  3. Were admitted into the United States on or before September 30, 2002 and plan to remain in the United States until at least January 10, 2003.

Special Registration as described above applies to all nonimmigrants (including those with dual citizenships) EXCEPT U.S. Permanent Residents, those in A or G visa status, and those individuals who applied for asylum on or before November 22, 2002. If you wish, you may have an attorney present with you when you appear before the officer at the USCIS. Please check the Federal Register for more information at the following web address:

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2002/pdf/02-29958.pdf (Acrobat PDF File)

Nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria
Effective November 15, 2002 all individuals born in, or citizens of, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan or Syria meeting the following qualifications are required to report to the USCIS for Special Registration by December 16, 2002.

  1. All males over the age of 16 (born on or before November 15, 1986) who are
  2. Nationals (defined by USCIS as "a person owing permanent allegiance to a state") or citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria and
  3. Were admitted into the United States on or before September 10, 2002 and plan to remain in the United States until at least December 16, 2002.

Special Registration as described above applies to all non-immigrants (including those with dual citizenships) EXCEPT U.S. Permanent Residents, those in A or G visa status, and those individuals who applied for asylum on or before November 6, 2002. If you wish, you may have an attorney present with you when you appear before the officer at the USCIS. Please refer to the Federal Register for more information at the following web address:

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2002_register&docid=fr06no02-147

Additional Information
The ISSO is pleased to provide you with information, advice, and assistance on any visa or immigration matter, which relates to your activities at Boston University.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit our office or call to make an appointment to meet with your ISSO Advisor.

 

ISSO
Boston University
February 28, 2005

Boston University International Students & Scholars Office