Special Registration Requirements

IMPORTANT: If you were registered (fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed) by the Immigration Service upon arrival in the U.S. or via Call-In Registration, you must depart the U.S. only through special airports. (Effective August 18, 2006, Memphis International Airport is on the list, so you will be able to fly overseas directly from Memphis.)

As a result of the USA Patriot Act, certain non-immigrants are required to register their presence with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They must update their registration at certain pre-determined intervals and notify USCIS of any change of address, employment or educational institution. Prior to any departure from the U.S., these individuals must notify USCIS of their intended departure and may only depart the U.S. from certain authorized airports.

The individuals who must comply with these requirements are those who have been fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed about their plans during their stay in the U.S. This may have occurred when they entered the U.S. or if they were part of the special call-in registration process conducted in late 2002 and early 2003.

If you are not sure whether these requirements apply to you, take a look at your I-94 card or at the visa stamp in your passport. If there is a handwritten “FIN” number or if “NSEERS” appears on the back of your I-94 card or above your visa stamp, you are subject to these requirements. The Immigration Service has registered citizens from over 144 different countries.

At the time you were registered, you should have received a packet from Immigration that explains your responsibilities, the interviewing schedule and documentary evidence you are expected to bring to your interview(s). For more information, click here.

Requirements of Special Registration

If you are subject to Special Registration, you must:

  • Register with Immigration upon entering the U.S.
  • Inform Immigration within 10 days of any change of address, change of employer or change of school.
  • Notify Immigration of your departure by departing the U.S. from a designated port of departure. This currently includes specifically reporting to the Immigration Office at the port of departure prior to leaving the country.

Effective December 2, 2003, the 30-day and 12-month re-registration at your local Immigration office is no longer needed. However, you may be contacted by Immigration at the address you last supplied to them, for an interview. If this happens, you should comply, of course. And always keep your address up-to-date with Immigration.

If you are in F or J status, your address change can be reported by your school in SEVIS.  You should notify your International Student Adviser within 10 days of changing addresses.

If you are called in for an Interview, this information may be helpful to you:

You can go to the Immigration District or Sub-office closest to where you live or work. A listing of District and Sub-office locations can be found at http://uscis.gov

You can also call the National Customer Service Center (1-800-375-5233 or TTY 1-800-767-1833 for the hearing impaired) to locate the office and their hours of operation.

In the Memphis area, you should go to the following office:

  • 842 Virginia Run Cove, Memphis TN 38122

When you get there, let the security guard know you are there for a Special Registration interview.

Applying for a Waiver of the Special Registration Requirements

If you are unable to go to an interview, you can apply to the District Director for a waiver of all or part of the registration requirements. There is no official form to request a waiver: you would write to the District Director explaining why you are unable to comply with the reporting requirements and provide any supporting documentation possible to support your request.

Essentially, however, unless you become ill such that hospitalization is required, you are expected to appear during the interview period.

The Interview

You will again be fingerprinted and photographed. The Immigration officer may ask you questions regarding your stay and may ask questions about any documents you bring with you.

It is your responsibility to establish that you are indeed engaging in the activities for which you were admitted into the U.S. You should bring your Form I-94 and any written documents available to show the Immigration officer that you are doing what you said you would be doing. The following table is meant to serve as a guide and not as a definitive list of required documentation to bring to the interview.

Documents to Bring

Visitor for Business

  • Hotel receipts, cab receipts, ticket stubs from places visited, documents showing where you have stayed.
  • If staying with friends or relatives, documents showing their name, like a postmarked envelope or bill


  • Class schedule
  • Official notification of grades (transcripts)
  • Student identification card
  • Letter from your International Student Advisor verifying that you are a student in good standing
  • Class or yearbook picture
  • Evidence of participation in extracurricular activities

J-1 scholar, H, O, TN, R-1 visa holders, etc.

  • Pay stub
  • Employment contract or letter of appointment
  • Letter of invitation if not paid by the university
  • Letter from your employer indicating your good standing with the institution. This could take the form of a letter from your international advisor.

If you have just arrived and do not have such things as transcripts or your first pay stub, do not panic. Bring whatever documentation you have to demonstrate your legitimate stay in the U.S. : contract letters, letters of invitation, etc. Prior to going to Immigration for the interview, you should check in with the International Affairs Office to obtain a letter verifying your status at UTHSC.

In the past, registrants have been asked to provide information about bank accounts, credit cards, etc. This information is used to make sure no money is being channeled to terrorist organizations.

Change of Address

You must notify Immigration of address changes or changes of employer or school within 10 days of the change by submitting a form AR-11SR. Form AR-11SR is available on the Immigration website. Keep a copy of this form for your records.

You should send the AR-11SR to one of the following addresses:

Regular U.S. postal Service (including Certified Mail)

  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Change of Address – Special Registration
  • P.O. Box 7134
  • London, KY 40742-7134

Overnight/Express Mail

  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Change of Address – Special Registration
  • 1084-I South Laurel Road
  • London, KY 40744

You should send it in a manner that you can track it or obtain evidence that it was delivered – either by certified, return receipt mail through the U.S. postal service, via Federal Express or some other mailing service that gives you confirmation of delivery. Retain this confirmation in your files for future reference.

If you are in F or J status, your address change can be reported by your school in SEVIS. You should notify your International Student Adviser within 10 days of changing addresses.

Traveling Out of the U.S.

If you are a special registrant and plan to leave the U.S., even for only relatively short visits to Canada or Mexico, you must notify Immigration of your departure on the date of your departure from the U.S. Additionally, you may only leave the U.S. from a designated departure port. Here is a list of designated departure ports.

Failure to Comply with Special Registration Requirements

If you fail to comply with these registration requirements, you will be considered to be out of status. You may be subject to arrest, detention, fines and/or removal from the U.S. This could impact any future plans you may have to apply for any immigration-related benefits. Decisions regarding the impact of any noncompliance will be made on an individual, case by case basis.

Some individuals who have traveled and failed to follow the exit procedures are facing difficulties either when they apply for a new visa at the consulate over seas or when they try to re-enter the U.S. at the port of entry.

UTHSC campus 

Contact Us

Office of International Affairs
One Stop Student Services
910 Madison Avenue, Suite 105
Memphis, TN 38163

Phone: (901) 448-8484
Fax: (901) 448-1370
Email: oia@uthsc.edu

Hours of operation:
8 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F