Entry/exit registration deadline extended

The Justice Department has extended the registration period for certain foreign visitors required to enroll in the National Security Entry/Exit Registration System.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service also has provided resources to assist foreign visitors with the registration process, which was extended by at least a month.

Male visitors age 16 and older who are citizens of Pakistan or Saudi Arabia and were present in the United States before Oct. 1, 2003, have until March 21 to register. Those who are citizens of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan or Kuwait have until April 25.

Attorney General John Ashcroft announced last summer the use of electronic fingerprint scanners to check visitors' identities as a part of the National Security Entry/Exit Registration Center. The fingerprints are then compared to databases of fingerprints of known and suspected criminals and terrorists.

Foreign visitors who do not register will be entered into a National Crime Information Center database, and those who fail to report their departure will become ineligible to re-enter the United States.

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