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FFL Tip Sheet for Non U.S. Citizens purchasing firearms

FFL Tip Sheet for Non U.S. Citizens purchasing firearms

Federal Firearms Licensee Tip Sheet for Processing NICS Checks for Non-U.S. Citizens/Aliens

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All Aliens, no matter the status, must have the following two items:

  1. A valid ICE-issued form of identification; and
  2. A valid alien number* (which will be provided to question #15 on the ATF Form 4473.)


Immigrant Alien or Legal Permanent Resident Alien (LPR)

Description

  • Granted permanent residence in the United States
  • Must carry evidence of their status
  • Status, in majority of cases, is granted for life

Identification

  • Identification card will indicate “Permanent Resident”
  • Identification card will have either an AR#, USCIS#, or A#
  • AR#, USCIS#, or A#  will be 8 or 9 numeric digits in length
  • 90 days proof of residency is no longer required

Quick ATF Form 4473 Check

  • Question #11L (Alien admitted with nonimmigrant visa?):
  • will respond with “No”
  • Question #14 (Country of Citizenship)
  • Question #15 (Alien Number): 8 or 9 numeric  digits in length

NICS: National Instant Criminal Background Check System
ICE: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
FFL: Federal Firearms Licensee
AR#: Alien Registration Number
A#: Alien Number
LPR: Legal Permanent Resident Alien
USCIS#: United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services Number
CBP: United States Customs and Border Patrol
Form I-94: Arrival and Departure Record

Non-Immigrant Alien

Description:

  • No intention of abandoning residence in another country
  • Granted access to the United States for a specific purpose and for a temporary period of time

Identification:

  • Identification will be either a valid Visa or Employment Authorization Card
  • May have both an A/AR# and I-94# but must use the I-94# for
  • NICS purposes
  • I-94# is 11 numerical digits in length
  • A printout from the CBP Web site is now an acceptable form of
  • proof for an I-94#  
  • 90 days proof of residency is no longer required
  • Not all non-U.S. Citizens need a valid exception (example:  a valid hunting
  • license), just those admitted under a Visa

Quick ATF Form 4473 Check:

  • Question #11L (Alien admitted with nonimmigrant visa?): can be “No” or “Yes” 
  • Question #12 (fall within any of the exceptions listed?): only populate if #11L is “Yes.”  Can respond with “No” or “Yes” 
  • Question #14 (Country of Citizenship)
  • Question #15 (Alien Number): 11-digit I-94 number
  • Question #20c (exception documentation): populate if #12 is “Yes”


* NICS Contracted Call Center user: be sure to tell the NICS Operator which type of alien number you are providing, either an AR# or I-94#. It is imperative this information be captured correctly in the NICS. An incorrect number could adversely impact the results of the NICS check.

*NICS E-Check users: be sure to choose the link in the upper right hand corner of the “Search” screen that states “For Non-U.S. Citizen Searches.”  This allows the FFL to enter their customer’s AR# or I-94# in the denoted area.

 

Processing Flowchart Outline:

1. Is your customer a Non-United States Citizen?

No: Process as normal; validate all information on the ATF Form 4473 before initiating the NICS check

Yes: Go to step 2

2. Do they have ICE-issued documentation containing an A#?

No: Stop! Do not process. This information is required before proceeding.

Yes: Go to step 3

3. Are they an Immigrant Alien or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR)?

No: Go to step 4

Yes:

Description:

  • Granted permanent residence in the United States
  • Must carry evidence of their status
  • Status, in majority of cases, is granted for life

Identification

  • Identification card will indicate “Permanent Resident”
  • Identification card will have either an AR#, USCIS#, or A#
  • AR#, USCIS#, or A#  will be 8 or 9 numeric digits in length
  • 90 days proof of residency is no longer required

Quick ATF Form 4473 Check

  • Question #11L (Alien admitted with nonimmigrant visa?): will respond with “No”
  • Question #14 (Country of Citizenship)
  • Question #15 (Alien Number): 8 or 9 numeric digits in length

4. Are they a Non-Immigrant Alien?

No: Stop! Reassess your customer as these are rare instances. If they have an unusual status, such as a refugee, you should process their check as an Immigrant Alien. They likely have been issued an AR#, A#, or USCIS#.

Yes:

Description

  • No intention of abandoning residence in another country.
  • Granted access to the United States for a specific purpose and for a temporary period of time.

Identification

  • Identification will be either a valid Visa or Employment Authorization Card
  • May have both an A/AR# and I-94# but must use the I-94# for NICS purposes
  • I-94# is 11 numerical digits in length
  • A printout from the CBP Web site is now an acceptable form of
  • proof for an I-94#  
  • 90 days proof of residency is no longer required
  • Not all non-U.S. Citizens need a valid exception (example: a valid hunting license), just those admitted under a Visa

Quick ATF Form 4473 Check

  • Question #14  (Country of Citizenship)
  • Question #15 (Alien Number): 11 digit I-94 Number

5. Have they been admitted to the United States under a Visa?

No: Quick Form 4473 Check Question #11L (Admitted with visa): “No”

Yes: Quick Form 4473 Check Question #11L (Admitted with Visa): “Yes”

6. Are there exceptions?

No: Stop! Do not process. This information is required before proceeding.

Yes: Question #12 (Visa Exception): “Yes” Question #20c (Exception documentation).

 

January 2014