8 CFR 264.1 states that

a valid, unexpired nonimmigrant DHS admission or parole stamp in a foreign passport constitutes evidence of registration

Does that mean that such a stamp also constitutes "a certificate of alien registration or an alien registration receipt card" for the purpose of 8 USC 1304(d) or (e)?

(d) Certificate of alien registration or alien receipt card

Every alien in the United States who has been registered and fingerprinted under the provisions of the Alien Registration Act, 1940, or under the provisions of this chapter shall be issued a certificate of alien registration or an alien registration receipt card in such form and manner and at such time as shall be prescribed under regulations issued by the Attorney General.

(e) Personal possession of registration or receipt card; penalties

Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d). Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

In particular, it seems unlikely that a stamp in a passport could be an "alien registration receipt card," because it is not a card, but I wonder whether it could be a "certificate" despite the use of the word "evidence" in the regulation.

(This question is intended to help discover whether a nonimmigrant who entered the US under the Visa Waiver Program without having been given a paper I-94 form would be required by INA section 264, encoded at 8 USC 1304, to carry the passport containing the admission stamp.)

More information:

I have just re-read Immigration Law and the Myth of Comprehensive Registration by Nancy Morawetz and Natasha J. Fernandez-Silber, which notes in a footnote that there was formerly a federal regulation relating to the "carry requirement" that said

Carrying and possession of proof of alien registration.

The provisions of section 264(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act shall be applicable to every receipt card, certificate, or other document or paper referred to in this section as constituting evidence of alien registration.

That regulation obviously connects items defined as "evidence of registration" to the statutory requirement to carry any "certificate of registration," but it was repealed in 1960.

  • Note that in 8 CFR 1.4, I-94 is defined to include both paper and electronic I-94, and in particular 8 CFR 1.4(d) says that a printout is considered an original I-94, so I think a nonimmigrant who was given an electronic I-94 would have to carry either their passport with admission stamp, or a printout of their I-94. – user102008 Sep 4 '17 at 17:02
  • @user102008 the law requires carrying of any certificate of registration that's issued, so if the creation of the electronic record constitutes issuance to the traveler of an I-94, it seems to me that they'd have to carry both. – phoog Sep 4 '17 at 17:12
  • The use of the word "any" is kind of weird, but I don't think that it means you have to carry every acceptable evidence of registration that you have if you have more than one. The final rule for electronic I-94 says "In most cases, these travelers do not have a need for their Form I-94 now that the passport stamp serves as evidence of alien registration." which seems to indicate that either one is sufficient. – user102008 Sep 4 '17 at 17:24
  • @user102008 but it does leave us with the question of whether "evidence of registration" counts as something the carrying of which is required by the statute. It also leaves the question of whether the fingerprinting by OBIM constitutes fingerprinting "under the provisions of the Alien Registration Act, 1940, or under the provisions of this chapter," because it seems to me that there's a good argument that it doesn't, in which case most visa-free nonimmigrants aren't covered by 8 USC 1304 in any event. I've asked about that at law.stackexchange.com/q/22038/333. – phoog Sep 4 '17 at 18:25

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