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USCIS Implements Authority to Exempt Certain Persons Who Provided Material Support to the All India Sikh Students Federation, Bittu Faction (AISSF-BITTU)

Effective October 18, 2010, the Secretary of Homeland Security in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, exercised her discretionary authority to allow appropriate officials to exempt from the terrorism-related inadmissibility provisions certain individuals who provided material support to the All India Sikh Students Federation, Bittu Faction (AISSF-Bittu).  See section 212(d)(3)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This exemption will benefit some individuals seeking immigration benefits or protection in the United States who would otherwise be ineligible for the status sought based on an association with this organization.

The new exemption authority can be exercised in favor of an alien seeking a benefit or protection under the INA who has been determined to be otherwise eligible for the benefit or protection but for the relevant involvement with the AISSF-Bittu. In order to be considered for the exemption, the applicant must satisfy the relevant agency authority that he or she:

  • Has undergone and passed relevant background and security checks
  • Has fully disclosed, in all relevant applications and interviews with U.S. government representatives and agents, the nature and circumstances of each activity or association falling within the scope of the terrorist activity-related grounds of the INA
  • Has not participated in, or knowingly provided material support to, terrorist activities that targeted noncombatant persons
  • Poses no danger to the safety and security of the United States
  • Warrants an exemption from the relevant inadmissibility provision in the totality of the circumstances

The exemption authority can only be applied to aliens whose activities relate to AISSF-Bittu.  Implementation of the exemption authority will be made by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in consultation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or by U.S. consular officers, who will ascertain, to their satisfaction and in their discretion, that the particular applicant meets the above criteria.

This exemption may be revoked as a matter of discretion and without notice at any time with respect to any and all persons subject to it.  Any determination made under this exemption can inform but will not control a decision regarding any subsequent benefit or protection application, unless such exercise of authority has been revoked. 

The “Signed Exercise of Authority Under Section 212(d)(3)(B)(i) of the INA for Individuals Affiliated with the AISSF-Bittu” is located under "Related Links" on the right.

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