All Countries Relieved from NSEERS Compliance

News Release from Jewell & Associates, PC – May 2, 2011 As of April 28, 2011, all countries that were designated as part of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) have been relieved of compliance and removed from the NSEERS list.  Accordingly, nationals and citizens 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, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen are no longer subject to the NSEERS registration requirements.

In 2002, in an effort to tighten national security screening measures, the U.S. Department of Justice created NSEERS.  The Attorney General designated certain countries whose nationals and citizens would be subject to the NSEERS registration requirements while they were in the U.S. in a non-immigrant status.  Going forward from the date of their country’s NSEERS designation, affected individuals were required to complete a special registration process including providing fingerprints, a photograph, and any additional information requested to Department of Homeland Security officers at the time of each non-immigrant admission to the United States.  Nationals and citizens of NSEERS designated countries who were already in the U.S. in a non-immigrant status when their countries were designated were required to complete the same registration process through “call-in” registration which required them to go to a local USCIS office at specified times to complete the registration.  All affected individuals were also required to comply with NSEERS exit requirements when they left the U.S.  These requirements included departing the U.S. only from designated ports and having additional data recorded upon time of departure.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in April 2011 that as part of their effort to eliminate redundant programs, all NSEERS-designated countries would be removed from the NSEERS list and their nationals and citizens relieved of NSEERS compliance as of April 28, 2011.  Subsequent to the creation of NSEERS, DHS implemented two additional programs, US-VISIT and APIS, which together automatically collect the same information that NSEERS manually collected.  Because of this automation and because US-VISIT and APIS collect the information from nonimmigrant citizens and nationals of the former NSEERS countries as well as other countries, DHS has indicated that NSEERS manual registration is redundant to the automatic registrations under US-VISIT and APIS and does not provide any increase in security.  The DHS has specifically indicated that “As threats to the United States evolve, DHS seeks to identify specific individuals and actions that pose specific threats, rather than focusing on more general designations of groups of individuals, such as country of origin.”

It should be noted that though NSEERS is effectively dormant as of April 28, 2011, with no countries remaining on the compliance list, DHS has not repealed the NSEERS program altogether. 

© Jewell & Associates, PC 2011