9 FAM 303.3 

(U) CLASS - Consular Lookout and Support System

(CT:VISA-667;   08-24-2018)
(Office of Origin:  CA/VO/L/R)

9 FAM 303.3-1  (U) Statutory and Regulatory Authorities

9 FAM 303.3-1(A)  (U) Immigration and Nationality Act

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

(U) INA 105 (8 U.S.C. 1105); INA 222(f) (8 U.S.C. 1202(f)); INA 221(g) (8 U.S.C. 1201(g)).

9 FAM 303.3-1(B)  (U) Code of Federal Regulations

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

(U) 22 CFR 40.5; 22 CFR 41.105(b); 22 CFR 42.67(c).

9 FAM 303.3-1(C)  (U) Public Law

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

(U) United and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT Act) Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-56, section 403(a)).

9 FAM 303.3-2  (U) CLASS Overview

(CT:VISA-244;   11-04-2016)

a. Unavailable 

b. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.3-2(A)  (U) Namechecking 

(CT:VISA-2;   11-18-2015)

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9 FAM 303.3-2(B)  (U) The CLASS Database

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-3  (U) Namecheck procedures

(CT:VISA-244;   11-04-2016)

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9 FAM 303.3-3(A)  (U) Interpreting Namecheck Results

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

a. Unavailable

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9 FAM 303.3-3(B)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-244;   11-04-2016)

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9 FAM 303.3-3(B)(1)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-2;   11-18-2015)

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9 FAM 303.3-4  (U) Additions to the CLASS Database

9 FAM 303.3-4(A)  (U) Entry of Visa Refusals

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-4(B)  (U) Entry of Potentially Ineligible Aliens

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-4(C)  (U) Corrections to CLASS Entries

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-4(D)  (U) Deletions from the CLASS Database

9 FAM 303.3-4(D)(1)  (U) Deletions Overview 

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-4(D)(2)  (U) Routine CLASS Deletions

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-4(D)(3)  (U) Special CLASS Deletion Cases

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-4(D)(4)  (U) CLOK Deletions of Class Hits Created at the Department, Other Posts or by Other Agencies

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-4(D)(5)  (U) Automatic Deletions from CLASS

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-4(D)(6)  (U) Requests from the Public for Removal of Entries from CLASS

(CT:VISA-2;   11-18-2015)

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9 FAM 303.3-5  (U) PROCESSING APPLICATIONS WITH CLASS HITS

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

(U) This guidance provides an overview to processing the Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS) hits consular officers are most likely to encounter when adjudicating visa applications. 

9 FAM 303.3-5(A)  Unavailable

9 FAM 303.3-5(A)(1)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(A)(2)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(B)  Unavailable

9 FAM 303.3-5(B)(1)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-623;   07-10-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(B)(2)  (U) DHS Findings of Ineligibilities

(CT:VISA-667;   08-24-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(B)(3)  (U) P212(a) Non-Security Quasi-Ineligibilities

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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c.  (U) You should carefully review 9 FAM 302.1-2(B) on the proper interpretation of INA 214(b) when adjudicating these cases.  If you encounter derogatory information regarding an applicant, who is in possession of a valid NIV and such information may lead to an ineligibility, you may need to revoke or request a prudential revocation of the visa from CA/VO/SAC.  Refer to 9 FAM 403.11 for instructions on revocations.

9 FAM 303.3-5(B)(4)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(C)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(D)  (U) Processing Federal Bureau of Investigation Records in CLASS

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(D)(1)  (U) FBI codes in CLASS

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(D)(2)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-244;   11-04-2016)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(D)(3)  (U) Determining NCIC Matches in CLASS

(CT:VISA-623;   07-10-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(D)(4)  (U) Wanted Persons with No Fingerprints on File

(CT:VISA-574;   04-17-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(D)(5)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-574;   04-17-2018)

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g. (U) If you have any questions regarding whether an ineligibility applies to an A-1, A-2, C-3, G-1 through G-4, or NATO-1 through NATO-6 applicant, submit a request for an AO to CA/VO/L/A.  The request must provide a detailed summary of any information you have been able to obtain regarding the reported offense, include any court actions.  Final action on the case must wait the final AO determination.  If you have determined that the NCIII hit does not lead to an applicable ineligibility, you do not need to send an AO.  Enter case notes in NIV to record actions taken.

9 FAM 303.3-5(D)(6)  (U) Limitations on Use of National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Information

(CT:VISA-574;   04-17-2018)

a. (U) Authorized access: The FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) criminal history records are law enforcement sensitive and can only be accessed by authorized consular personnel with visa processing responsibilities.

b. (U) Use of information: NCIC criminal history record information shall be used solely to determine whether or not to issue a visa to an alien or to admit an alien to the United States. All third party requests for access to NCIC criminal history record information shall be referred to the FBI.

c.  (U) Confidentiality and Protection of Records: To protect applicants' privacy, authorized Department personnel must secure all NCIC criminal history records, automated or otherwise, to prevent access by unauthorized persons. Such criminal history records must be destroyed, deleted or overwritten upon receipt of updated versions.

9 FAM 303.3-5(E)  (U) Processing Department of Homeland Security and Immigration Services (DHS) Lookout Entries

9 FAM 303.3-5(E)(1)  (U) Effect of Definitive DHS Inadmissibility Findings

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

a. (U) DHS findings of inadmissibility generally are entered into TECS (formerly the Treasury Enforcement Communication System) and these entries pass electronically into the Department’s CLASS lookout system.

b. (U) If you determine that an alien is identifiable with the subject of a DHS-generated lookout entry indicating a definitive determination of inadmissibility, excluding 212(a)(3) inadmissibilities, you may assume that the finding was correct and may refuse the application under the particular INA section indicated by the DHS lookout entry, unless the inadmissibility is non-permanent and can be overcome through changed circumstances (e.g., medical or public charge inadmissibility) or the entry relates to an inadmissibility that only applies at the port of entry (POE) and is not a basis for a visa refusal (e.g., INA 212(a)(7)(A)). A definitive inadmissibility comes from a review of an applicant's profile and a determination by DHS that the information makes the applicant inadmissible under grounds of the INA that do not contain an exception through a waiver. 

c.  (U) Except in cases involving non-permanent inadmissibility or in cases of 212(a)(3) grounds, you should not look behind a definitive DHS finding or re-adjudicate the alien’s eligibility with respect to the provision of inadmissibility described in the DHS lookout entry.

d. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.3-5(E)(2)  (U) Processing Refusals Based on DHS Findings of Inadmissibility

(CT:VISA-434;   08-11-2017)

(U) You Should Inform the Applicant That:

(1)  (U) The refusal was based on a finding of inadmissibility made by DHS, without referring to the existence of a DHS computer lookout on the applicant.

(2)  (U) If the subject of a definitive DHS entry wishes to pursue his or her application, he or she will require a waiver of inadmissibility from DHS (if available).  (See 9 FAM 403.10-4(C).)

(3)  (U) If the alien maintains that the DHS finding was erroneous, you should generally advise the applicant to contact DHS directly to request reconsideration of the finding of inadmissibility and deletion of any lookout.

(4)  (U) You may choose to contact DHS on behalf of the applicant in appropriate cases, such as where important United States interests are at stake or where you have information that could assist DHS in reconsideration of the case.

9 FAM 303.3-5(E)(3)  (U) Overcoming a Refusal Based on a DHS Finding

(CT:VISA-434;   08-11-2017)

(U) If you refuse an application based on a definitive DHS lookout entry and DHS subsequently determines that the finding was erroneous and deletes its entry, then you may process the case to conclusion and should send in a Visas CLOK cable requesting deletion of any post-originated CLASS entry which may have been made as a result of the DHS entry.  If, notwithstanding DHS’ removal of the entry, you believe that the facts on which DHS entry were based justify a finding of inadmissibility, you should refer the case to the Department for an advisory opinion (AO).

9 FAM 303.3-5(E)(4)  (U) Resolving Quasi-Refusal Ineligibilities in Lookout Entries

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

a. Unavailable

b. (U) You should generally confront the alien with the derogatory information, unless it is classified, law enforcement sensitive, Sensitive but Unclassified (SBU), or other agency sourced, and give them an opportunity to present rebuttal evidence, after which you can make a definitive determination and, if the alien is found inadmissible, a definitive (“hard”) refusal code entry should be entered in CLASS.

c.  (U) If there is a DHS-entered quasi-refusal (“P”) lookout in CLASS, the entry has no binding effect, and you should evaluate the derogatory information that formed the basis for the lookout and should adjudicate the applicant’s eligibility.  If you determine that the applicant is not inadmissible, you should issue the visa and annotate it and add case notes appropriately to ensure that DHS inspectors at a POE or other DHS office will understand that you were aware of the DHS “P” lookout and concluded nonetheless that the applicant was admissible.  You can request that DHS remove the hit, but that may not be done in time for the applicant to travel.  If you issue a visa over a DHS “P” entry, you should remind the applicant that he or she will be subject to inspection upon arrival in the United States and that DHS has the independent authority to deny the alien admission, notwithstanding the alien’s valid visa.

d. Unavailable

9 FAM 303.3-5(E)(5)  (U) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Inspectors’ Notes on Form I-275, Withdrawal of Application/Consular Notification, CBP Notes in IDENT Returns, and Notes Contained in FBI Fingerprint Clearance Records from the Next Generation Identification (NGI) Fingerprint System (which replaced IAFIS in September 2014)

(CT:VISA-623;   07-10-2018)

a. (U) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers sometimes make notes regarding a finding of inadmissibility or derogatory information regarding an alien on Form I-275, Application for Withdrawal of Application/Consular Notification), or in records contained in the DHS IDENT fingerprint system.  A typical example of such notes is “Subject is inadmissible under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i)(or some other ground).  Such notes, unless they are supported by the corresponding definitive DHS CLASS entry (i.e., not “quasi” – see 9 FAM 303.3-5(E)(4) for procedures if there is a corresponding quasi-refusal), do not have a binding effect on you.  In such cases, you must review the information in the Form I-275 and make a determination on visa eligibility, supported by corresponding case notes.  If there is a corresponding definitive CLASS entry, you must proceed as directed in paragraph a above.

b. (U) The factual summary that may be included in a Form I-275 (for example, the applicant’s answers to the CBP officer’s questions), sometimes will permit you to make a visa refusal or to pursue a finding of inadmissibility for a visa under the 90-day rule (see 9 FAM 302.9-4(B)(3) for more information on the 90-day rule).

c.  (U) The above policy that there must be a corresponding definitive DHS class entry for there to be a binding effect also applies to notes in records contained in the FBI NGI Fingerprint system (e.g., "Charge 1-Attempted Entry by Fraud 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(C)(i)").

9 FAM 303.3-5(F)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(G)  Unavailable

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

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9 FAM 303.3-5(H)  (U) Guidance Broken Down by CLASS Code

(CT:VISA-565;   04-06-2018)

(U) CLASS refusal/lookout codes that may be returned in response to a namecheck are listed in 9 FAM 303.3-3(B)(1).

(1)  (U) 212(e) Foreign Residency Requirement:  Certain former exchange visitors applying for a K, H, or L nonimmigrant visa, or immigrant visa, cannot be issued until the applicant has been physically present or resided in the country of nationality or last legal permanent residence for an aggregate of two years following completion of the exchange program and departure from the United States.  9 FAM 302.13-2(B)(1) describes those categories of former exchange visitors who are subject to this requirement.  This ineligibility applies unless a waiver of the two-year requirement has been granted.  CA/VO/DO/W determines whether to recommend that DHS grant a waiver.  Waiver approvals can be verified via the CCD or with official notification from USCIS.

(2)  Unavailable

(3)  (U) 222(g) Visa Overstays:  222(g) of the INA renders void the visas of non-immigrants who overstay their authorized period of stay in the U.S., and requires (except in certain exceptional circumstances) that the individual apply for a visa in the country of his or her nationality.  See 9 FAM 302.1-9(B) for further information on 222(g).

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(6) (U) ABS or ABSI Absconder Data:  Reasons for a DHS ABS or ABSI entry include, among other things, an alien failing to appear at a deportation hearing, failing to comply with a deportation order, failing to comply with a deportation order in a timely fashion, or failing to notify DHS of a return abroad.  It is not a visa ineligibility in and of itself, but a flag that indicates failure to comply with a regulation or court order.  If the applicant is otherwise eligible for a visa, you should carefully determine whether a visa ineligibility exists based upon the absconder hit.

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