Federal Register, Volume 79 Issue 167 (Thursday, August 28, 2014)
[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 167 (Thursday, August 28, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 51247-51254]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-20516]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 22

[Public Notice: 8850]
RIN 1400-AD47


Schedule of Fees for Consular Services, Department of State and 
Overseas Embassies and Consulates--Visa and Citizenship Services Fee 
Changes

AGENCY: Department of State.

ACTION: Interim final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of State amends the Schedule of Fees for 
Consular Services (Schedule) for certain nonimmigrant visa application 
processing fees, certain immigrant visa application processing and 
special visa services fees, and certain citizenship services fees. More 
specifically, the rule amends the application processing fees for two 
categories of petition-based nonimmigrant visas and the tiered 
application processing fees for immigrant visas. The rule also amends 
the security surcharge for immigrant visa services and the fees for 
certain immigrant visa services. Lastly, the rule raises the 
application processing fee for renunciation of U.S. citizenship and 
lowers the hourly consular officer time charge. The Department of State 
is adjusting the fees in light of the findings of a recent Cost of 
Service study to ensure that the fees for consular services better 
align with the costs of providing those services.

DATES: This interim final rule becomes effective September 6, 2014. 
Written comments must be received on or before October 21, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may submit comments to the Department by 
any of the following methods:
     Visit the Regulations.gov Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov and search the RIN 1400-AD47or docket number DOS-
2014-0016.
     Mail (paper, disk, or CD-ROM): U.S. Department of State, 
Office of the Comptroller, Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA/C), SA-17 8th 
Floor, Washington, DC 20522-1707.
     E-Mail: fees@state.gov. You must include the RIN (1400-
AD47) in the subject line of your message.
     All comments should include the commenter's name, the 
organization the commenter represents, if applicable, and the 
commenter's address. If the Department is unable to read your comment 
for any reason, and cannot contact you for clarification, the 
Department may not be able to consider your comment. After the 
conclusion of the comment period, the Department will publish a Final 
Rule (in which it will address relevant comments) as expeditiously as 
possible.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Celeste Scott, Special Assistant, 
Office of the Comptroller, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of 
State; phone: 202-485-6681, telefax: 202-485-6826; Email: 
fees@state.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The interim final rule makes changes to the Schedule of Fees for 
Consular Services of the Department of State's Bureau of Consular 
Affairs. The Department sets and collects its fees based on the concept 
of full cost recovery. The Department completed its most recent review 
of current consular fees and will implement several changes to the 
Schedule of Fees based on the new fees calculated by the Cost of 
Service Model (CoSM). Please note that certain ``no fee'' consular 
services are included in the Schedule of Fees so that members of the 
public will be aware of significant consular services provided

[[Page 51248]]

by the Department at no charge to the recipient of the service.

What is the authority for this action?

    The Department of State derives the general authority to set fees 
based on the cost of the consular services it provides, and to charge 
those fees, from the general user charges statute, 31 U.S.C. 9701. See, 
e.g., 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)(2)(A) (``The head of each agency . . . may 
prescribe regulations establishing the charge for a service or thing of 
value provided by the agency . . . based on . . . the costs to the 
government.''). As implemented through Executive Order 10718 of June 
27, 1957, 22 U.S.C. 4219 further authorizes the Department to establish 
fees to be charged for official services provided by U.S. embassies and 
consulates. Other authorities allow the Department to charge fees for 
consular services, but not to determine the amount of such fees because 
the amount is statutorily determined.
    Several statutes address specific fees relating to nonimmigrant 
visas. For instance, 8 U.S.C. 1351 establishes reciprocity as the basic 
principle for setting the nonimmigrant visa issuance fee, meaning that 
the fee charged an applicant from a foreign country is based, insofar 
as practicable, on the amount of visa or other similar fees charged to 
U.S. nationals by that foreign country. In addition to the reciprocity 
issuance fee, Sec. 140(a) of Public Law 103-236, 108 Stat. 382, as 
amended, reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1351 (note), establishes a cost-based 
application processing fee for nonimmigrant machine readable visas 
(MRVs) and border crossing cards (BCCs). See also 8 U.S.C. 1713(b). 
Such fees remain available to the Department until expended. 8 U.S.C. 
1351 (note) and 1713(d). Furthermore, Sec. 501 of Public Law 110-293, 
Title V, 122 Stat. 2968, reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1351 (note), requires 
the Secretary of State to collect an additional $2 surcharge (the 
``HIV/AIDS/TB/Malaria surcharge'') on all MRVs and BCCs as part of the 
application processing fee; this surcharge must be deposited into the 
Treasury and goes to support programs to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, 
and malaria. Section 2 of Public Law 113-42 imposes a temporary $1 
surcharge on the fees for MRV and BCC application processing, to be 
deposited into the general fund of the Treasury. This provision will 
sunset two years after the first date on which the increased fee is 
collected and will not affect most MRV and BCC fees paid by applicants.
    Additionally, several statutes address fees for immigrant visa 
processing. For example, Sec. 636 of Public Law 104-208, div. C, Title 
VI, 110 Stat. 3009-703, reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1153 (note), authorizes 
the Secretary of State to collect and retain a ``Diversity Immigrant 
Lottery Fee.'' Under this fee authority, the Secretary of State may 
establish and retain a fee to recover the costs of ``allocating visas'' 
described in 8 U.S.C. 1153, i.e., running the diversity visa lottery 
pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1154(a)(1)(I), and to recover the costs of 
``processing applications'' for diversity immigrant visas submitted by 
selectees of the lottery. Accordingly, the ``diversity visa lottery 
fee,'' charged to those persons selected by the lottery who 
subsequently apply for a diversity immigrant visa, incorporates all the 
costs to the Department of administering the diversity visa lottery 
program and processing the resulting diversity immigrant visa 
applications.
    Another statute authorizes the Department to collect and retain a 
surcharge on immigrant visas to help pay for efforts to enhance border 
security. See 8 U.S.C. 1714. Although this immigrant visa surcharge was 
originally frozen statutorily at $45, subsequent legislation authorized 
the Department to amend this surcharge administratively, provided the 
resulting surcharge is ``reasonably related to the costs of providing 
services in connection with the activity or item for which the 
surcharges are charged.'' Public Law 109-472, Sec. 6, 120 Stat. 3554, 
reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1714 (note).
    Certain people are exempted by law or regulation from paying 
specific fees or are expressly made subject to special fee charges by 
law. These are noted in the text below. They include, for instance, 
several exemptions from the nonimmigrant visa application processing 
fee for certain individuals who engage in charitable activities or who 
qualify for diplomatic visas. See 8 U.S.C. 1351; 22 CFR 41.107(c). 
Certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals are similarly exempt from paying an 
immigrant visa application processing fee. See Public Law 110-181, div. 
A, Title XII, Sec. 1244(d), 122 Stat. 3, reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1157 
(note); Public Law 111-8, div. F, Title VI, Sec. 602(b)(4), 123 Stat. 
524, reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1101 (note).
    Although the funds collected for many consular fees must be 
deposited into the general fund of the Treasury pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 
3302(b), various statutes permit the Department to retain some or all 
of the fee revenue it collects. The Department retains the following 
relevant fees: (1) The MRV and BCC fees, see Public Law 103-236, Title 
I, Sec. 140(a)(2), 112 Stat. 2681-50, reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1351 
(note) and 8 U.S.C. 1713(d); (2) the immigrant visa and passport 
security surcharges, see 8 U.S.C. 1714; (3) the diversity visa lottery 
fee, see Public Law 104-208, div. C, Title VI, Sec. 636, reproduced at 
8 U.S.C. 1153 (note); (4) the fee for an affidavit of support, see 
Public Law 106-113, div. A, Title II, Sec. 232(a), 113 Stat. 1501, 
reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1183a (note); and (5) the fee to process 
requests from participants in the Department's Exchange Visitor Program 
for a waiver of the two-year home-residence requirement, see 22 U.S.C. 
1475e. The Department also has available one-third of the total annual 
revenue collected from fraud prevention and detection fees charged in 
relation to H- and L-category visas, See 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(12), 
1356(v)(2)(A).
    The Department last changed nonimmigrant and immigrant visa fees in 
an interim final rule dated March 29, 2012. See Department of State 
Schedule of Fees for Consular Services, Department of State and 
Overseas Embassies and Consulates, 22 CFR part 22 (77 FR 18907). Those 
changes to the Schedule went into effect April 13, 2012. The final rule 
regarding those fees was published on September 17, 2012 (77 FR 57012).
    The Department last changed fees for passport and citizenship 
services and overseas citizens' services in an interim final rule dated 
June 28, 2010. See Department of State Schedule of Fees for Consular 
Services, Department of State and Overseas Embassies and Consulates, 22 
CFR Part 22 (75 FR 36522). Those changes to the Schedule went into 
effect July 13, 2010. A final rule regarding those fees was published 
on February 2, 2012 (77 FR 5177).
    Some fees in the Schedule, including Items 20(a) and (b), 31(a) and 
(b) and 35(c), are set by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 
These DHS fees were most recently updated by that agency on November 
23, 2010, and are subject to change in the future. See 75 FR 58962. The 
Department lists these DHS fees in the Department Schedule of Fees for 
cashiering purposes only. The Department has no authority to set DHS 
fees, which are listed at 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1).

Why is the Department adjusting certain nonimmigrant visa, immigrant 
visa, citizens services and administrative services fees at this time?

    Consistent with OMB Circular A-25 guidelines, the Department 
recently completed a fee review using its activity-based Cost of 
Service Model. This review was conducted from April 2012 through July 
2013 and provides

[[Page 51249]]

the basis for updating the Schedule. The results of that review are 
outlined in this rule.\1\
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    \1\ To request more information about the Cost of Service model, 
please send your request using one of the methods in the Address 
section above.
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    Similar to the 2011 fee review, upon which the current Schedule is 
based, costs are generated by an activity-based cost model that takes 
into account all costs to the U.S. government. Unlike a typical 
accounting system, which accounts for only traditional general-ledger-
type costs such as salaries, supplies, travel and other business 
expenses, activity-based cost models measure the costs of activities, 
or processes, and then provide an additional view of costs by the 
products and services produced by an organization through the 
identification of the key cost drivers of the activities. Below is a 
description of Activity-Based Costing excerpted from the Supplemental 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published on March 24, 2010 (75 FR 
14111).

Activity-Based Costing Generally

    OMB Circular A-25 states that it is the objective of the United 
States Government to ``(a) ensure that each service, sale, or use of 
Government goods or resources provided by an agency to specific 
recipients be self-sustaining; [and] (b) promote efficient allocation 
of the Nation's resources by establishing charges for special benefits 
provided to the recipient that are at least as great as costs to the 
Government of providing the special benefits . . . .'' OMB Circular A-
25, 5(a)-(b); see also 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)(2)(A) (agency ``may prescribe 
regulations establishing the charge for a service or thing of value 
provided by the agency . . . based on . . . the costs to the Government 
. . . .''). To set prices that are ``self-sustaining,'' the Department 
must determine the full cost of providing consular services. Following 
guidance provided in Statement 4 of OMB's Statement of Federal 
Financial Accounting Standards (SFFAS), available at http://www.fasab.gov/pdffiles/sffas-4.pdf, the Department chose to develop and 
use an activity-based costing (ABC) model to determine the full cost of 
the services listed in its Schedule of Fees, both those whose fee the 
Department proposes to change, as well as those whose fee will remain 
unchanged from prior years. The Department refers to the specific ABC 
model that underpins the proposed fees as the ``Cost of Service Model'' 
or ``CoSM.''
    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) defines activity-based 
costing as a ``set of accounting methods used to identify and describe 
costs and required resources for activities within processes.'' Because 
an organization can use the same staff and resources (computer 
equipment, production facilities, etc.) to produce multiple products or 
services, ABC models seek to precisely identify and assign costs to 
processes and activities and then to individual products and services 
through the identification of key cost drivers referred to as 
``resource drivers'' and ``activity drivers.''

    Example:  Imagine a government agency that has a single facility 
it uses to prepare and issue a single product--a driver's license. 
In this simple scenario, every cost associated with that facility 
(the salaries of employees, the electricity to power the computer 
terminals, the cost of a blank driver's license, etc.) can be 
attributed directly to the cost of producing that single item. If 
that agency wants to ensure that it is charging a ``self-
sustaining'' price for driver's licenses, it only has to divide its 
total costs for a given time period by an estimate of the number of 
driver's licenses to be produced during that same time period.

    However, if that agency issues multiple products (driver's 
licenses, non-driver ID cards, etc.), has employees that work on other 
activities besides licenses (for example, accepting payment for traffic 
tickets), and operates out of multiple facilities it shares with other 
agencies, it becomes much more complex for the agency to determine 
exactly how much it costs to produce any single product. In those 
instances, the agency would need to know what percent of time its 
employees spend on each service and how much of its overhead (rent, 
utilities, facilities maintenance, etc.) can be allocated to the 
delivery of each service to determine the cost of producing each of its 
various products--the driver's license, the non-driver ID card, etc. 
Using an ABC model would allow the agency to develop those costs.

Components of Activity-Based Costing

    As noted in SFFAS Statement 4, ``activity-based costing has gained 
broad acceptance by manufacturing and service industries as an 
effective managerial tool'' (SSFAS Statement 4, 147). There are no 
``off-the-shelf'' ABC models that allow the Department (or any other 
entity) to simply populate a few data points and generate an answer. 
ABC models require financial and accounting analysis and modeling 
skills combined with a detailed understanding of all the organization's 
business processes, which, in an entity the size of the Department's 
Bureau of Consular Affairs, are exceedingly complex. More specifically, 
ABC models require an organization to:
     Identify all of the activities that are required to 
produce a particular product or service (``activities'');
     Identify all of the resources allocated to the production 
of (costs) that product or service (``resources'');
     Measure the quantity of resources consumed (``resource 
driver''); and
     Measure the frequency and intensity of demand placed on 
activities to produce services (``activity driver'').
    For additional details on an activity-based cost model, see the 
Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published on March 24, 2010 
(75 FR 14111).
    Although much of the modeling methodology has remained the same 
between fee reviews, the methodology for capturing Department 
historical support costs and projected costs has been updated to 
reflect the change in the Department's workload. In order to accurately 
account for the costs associated with rapidly growing demand for 
nonimmigrant visas in locations such as China and Brazil, the current 
fee review also incorporates two years of projected costs in addition 
to two years of historical costs and one year of current costs. The new 
fees represent a weighted average of the annual costs by service for 
fiscal years 2010-2014. Costs for individual fiscal years were weighted 
by the projected workload volume for that year. These weighted costs by 
fiscal year were then added together to generate a single cost per 
service upon which the fees are determined.
    The CoSM update included a new Overseas Time Survey, conducted in 
June 2012, which collected extensive data on both consular activities 
and the time spent by consular staff performing consular services at 
all overseas locations. Costs related to compensation for consular 
staff were then assigned to service categories based on the amount of 
time spent performing them. Therefore, the results of the Overseas Time 
Survey impacted costs for certain consular services identified below.

Nonimmigrant Visa Application and Border Crossing Card Processing Fees

    The Department has determined, based on the CoSM, that the costs to 
the Department to accept, adjudicate, and issue each of the different 
MRV categories varies. The effort related to some categories such as 
petition-based MRVs is appreciably higher than the standard, non-
petition-based MRV application. Each of those petition-

[[Page 51250]]

based nonimmigrant visa categories requires a review of extensive 
documentation and a more in-depth applicant interview than other 
categories of MRVs. After thorough review through the CoSM, including 
updated consular processing time data from the Overseas Time Survey, 
the fee for processing E (treaty trader and treaty investor) visa 
applications will decrease from $270 to $205, and the fee for 
processing K (fianc[eacute] and certain spouses of U.S. citizens) visa 
applications will increase from $240 to $265.
    The Department rounded these fees to the nearest $5 for the ease of 
converting to foreign currencies, which are most often used to pay the 
fee. These fees also include the statutory $2 HIV/AIDS/TB/Malaria 
surcharge and the $1 special immigrant program surcharge which must be 
attached to every MRV fee.
    Please note that in June 2013, the authority to charge the $1 
surcharge mandated by section 239 of Public Law 110-457, Title II, 122 
Stat. 5044, reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1351 (note) lapsed, and the HIV/
AIDS/TB/Malaria surcharge increased from $1 to $2 as mandated by 
Congress. See Public Law 110-293, Title V, Sec. 501, 122 Stat. 2968, 
reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1351 (note). Because those changes occurred 
simultaneously, nonimmigrant visa fees were not affected.
    Section 2 of Public Law 113-42, 127 Stat. 552, reproduced at 8 
U.S.C. 1351 (note), imposes a temporary $1 surcharge on the fees for 
MRV and BCC application processing, to be deposited into the general 
fund of the Treasury. This provision will sunset two years after the 
first date on which the increased fee is collected. The addition of the 
new $1 special immigrant program surcharge also does not affect most 
nonimmigrant visa fees. As the Department rounded these fees to the 
nearest $5 for the ease of converting foreign currencies, as noted 
above, the addition of this surcharge will not affect most MRV and BCC 
fees paid by applicants. The exception is the processing fee for BCC 
applications by minors under the age of 15, which is statutorily set at 
$13. The addition of the $1 special immigrant program surcharge to the 
$13 fee and $2 HIV/AIDS/TB/Malaria surcharge will increase the total 
fee for this service from $15 to $16.

Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fees

    In addition to the nonimmigrant visa application processing fee 
modifications referenced above, the Department is adjusting the four-
tiered immigrant visa application processing fees based on the CoSM 
calculation for each discrete category of immigrant visa, as 
applications for certain categories cost more to process than others. 
Accordingly, the application processing fee for a Family-Based Visa 
(immediate relative and family preference, processed on the basis of an 
approved I-130, I-600 or I-800 petition) will increase from $230 to 
$325. The application processing fee for an Employment-Based Visa 
(processed on the basis of an approved I-140 alien worker or I-526 
alien entrepreneur petition) will decrease from $405 to $345. Other 
Immigrant Visa applications (including for I-360 self-petitioners, 
special immigrant visa applicants and all others) will have an 
application processing fee of $205, down from $220. As noted above, 
certain qualifying Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants 
are statutorily exempt from paying any visa-related fees. Public Law 
110-181, div. A, Title XII, Sec. 1244(d), reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1157 
(note); Public Law 111-8, div. F, Title VI, Sec. 602(b)(4), reproduced 
at 8 U.S.C. 1101 (note).

Immigrant Visa Security Surcharge

    The Department is increasing the Immigrant Visa Security Surcharge, 
which is applicable to all applicants except those persons who are 
statutorily exempted from paying fees, from $75 to $100. The Immigrant 
Visa Security Surcharge comprises those costs associated with the 
immigrant visa application processing fee that support enhanced border 
security. In this update, new data regarding time spent by consular 
officials related to enhanced border security in processing immigrant 
visa applications, derived from the 2012 Overseas Time Survey, resulted 
in an increase to this cost. See 8 U.S.C. 1714 and Public Law 109-472, 
Sec. 6, 120 Stat. 3554, reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1714 (note). See also 
the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (75 FR 14111) for 
general details regarding the inclusion of Overseas Time Survey data 
into the Cost of Service Study. Please note that as of 2012, the 
Immigrant Visa Security Surcharge is embedded in the aforementioned 
immigrant visa application processing fee and is not charged as a 
standalone fee or set forth as a separate fee on the Schedule.

Determining Returning Resident Status

    A permanent resident (called lawful permanent resident or LPR) or 
conditional resident (CR) who has remained outside the United States 
for one year, or beyond the validity period of a Re-entry Permit, 
requires a new immigrant visa to enter the United States and resume 
permanent residence. A provision exists under U.S. visa law for the 
issuance of a returning resident special immigrant visa to an LPR who 
remained outside the United States due to circumstances beyond his or 
her control. Processing those applications for determination of 
eligibility as a returning resident has become less costly due to 
continuing advances in automation, making it easier to verify previous 
U.S. immigration status. Accordingly, the Department will lower the fee 
from $275 to $180.

Waiver of Two-Year Residency Requirement

    8 U.S.C. 1182, i.e., Educational Visitor Status; Foreign Residence 
Requirement; Waiver describes in detail certain categories of exchange 
visitors (J-1) that are subject to a two-year home-country physical 
presence requirement. This requires that the exchange visitor return to 
the country of his or her nationality or his or her last residence for 
at least two years following participation in particular exchange 
visitor programs before adjusting status in the United States or 
applying for certain visas to travel to the United States. This two-
year residency requirement may be waived in certain circumstances. The 
Department charges a fee for processing waiver applications. In 
accordance with the results of the CoSM, in which an updated analysis 
of time spent performing this activity indicated a reduced percentage 
of resources dedicated to this activity, the Department is decreasing 
the fee for processing an application for this waiver from $215 to 
$120.

Affidavit of Support Review

    The Department charges the affidavit of support review fee for all 
affidavits of support reviewed at the National Visa Center in 
connection with an application for a family-based immigrant visa. The 
purpose of the review is to ensure that each affidavit is properly 
completed before the National Visa Center forwards it to a consular 
post for adjudication. The Department is increasing the fee from $88 to 
$120 to reflect the increase in the cost of providing this service, as 
determined by the CoSM, including updated analysis of time spent 
performing this activity.

Documentation for Renunciation of Citizenship

    The CoSM demonstrated that documenting a U.S. citizen's 
renunciation of citizenship is extremely costly, requiring American 
consular officers overseas to spend substantial amounts of time to 
accept, process, and

[[Page 51251]]

adjudicate cases. For example, consular officers must confirm that the 
potential renunciant fully understands the consequences of 
renunciation, including losing the right to reside in the United States 
without documentation as an alien. Other steps include verifying that 
the renunciant is a U.S. citizen, conducting a minimum of two intensive 
interviews with the potential renunciant, and reviewing at least three 
consular systems before administering the oath of renunciation. The 
final approval of the loss of nationality must be done by law within 
the Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services in Washington, DC, after 
which the case is returned to the consular officer overseas for final 
delivery of the Certificate of Loss of Nationality to the renunciant. 
These steps further add to the time and labor that must be involved in 
the process. Accordingly, the Department is increasing the fee for 
processing such requests from $450 to $2,350. As noted in the interim 
final rule dated June 28, 2010 (77 FR 36522), the fee of $450 was set 
substantially below the cost to the U.S. government of providing this 
service (less than one quarter of the cost). Since that time, demand 
for the service has increased dramatically, consuming far more consular 
officer time and resources, as reflected in the 2012 Overseas Time 
Survey and increased workload data. Because the Department believes 
there is no public benefit or other reason for setting this fee below 
cost, the Department is increasing this fee to reflect the full cost of 
providing the service. Therefore the increased fee reflects both the 
increased cost of the provision of service as well as the determination 
to now charge the full cost.

Consular Time Charges

    The Department previously charged a consular time fee of $231 per 
hour, per employee. This fee is charged when indicated on the Schedule 
of Fees or when services are performed away from the office or outside 
regular business hours. The CoSM estimated that the hourly consular 
time charge is now lower. Accordingly, the Department is lowering this 
fee to $135 per hour.

When will the Department of State implement this interim final rule?

    The Department intends to implement this interim final rule, and 
initiate collection of the fees set forth herein, effective 15 days 
after publication of this rule in the Federal Register.

Regulatory Findings

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department is publishing this rule as an interim final rule, 
with a 60-day provision for post-promulgation comments and with an 
effective date less than 30 days from the date of publication, based on 
the ``good cause'' exceptions set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and 
553(d)(3). Delaying implementation of this rule would be contrary to 
the public interest because the fees in this rule fund consular 
services that are critical to national security, including screening 
visa applicants.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department has reviewed this rule and, by approving it, 
certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities as defined in 5 U.S.C. 601(6). 
This rule decreases the application processing fees for employer-
sponsored petition-based immigrant visas. The issuance of these visas 
is contingent upon approval by DHS of a petition filed by a United 
States company with DHS, and these companies pay a petition fee to DHS 
to cover the processing of the petition. The visa itself is sought and 
paid for by an individual foreign national overseas who seeks to come 
to the United States. The amount of the petition fees that are paid by 
small entities to DHS is not, in any way, connected to or controlled by 
the amount of the visa fees paid by individuals to the Department of 
State. While small entities may cover or reimburse employees for 
application processing fees, the State Department is unaware of the 
number of such entities that do so as it, again, is not a process 
controlled by the State Department. The workload volume in this 
category accounts for only four percent of the total immigrant workload 
expected in FY 2014. The $60 decrease in the application processing fee 
for these immigrant visas will likely have a positive, albeit 
insignificant, economic impact on the small entities that choose to 
reimburse the applicant for the visa fee. Therefore the State 
Department certifies that this rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by state, local, and 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 
million or more in any year, and it will not significantly or uniquely 
affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary 
under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 
U.S.C. 1501-1504.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    The Department has reviewed this rule to ensure its consistency 
with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in the 
Executive Orders. This rule has been submitted to OMB for review.
    This rule is necessary in light of the Department of State's CoSM 
finding that the cost of processing various categories of nonimmigrant 
and immigrant visas and of providing certain overseas citizens services 
has changed since those fees were last amended in 2012 and 2010, 
respectively. The Department is setting the new fees in accordance with 
31 U.S.C. 9701 and other applicable legal authority, as described in 
detail above. See, e.g., 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)(2)(A) (``The head of each 
agency . . . may prescribe regulations establishing the charge for a 
service or thing of value provided by the agency . . . based on . . . 
the costs to the government.''). This regulation sets the fees for 
consular services at the amount required to recover the costs 
associated with providing that service.
    Details of the fee changes are as follows:

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                                                                                                                             Estimated
                                                                                                                          annual  number     Estimated
                Item No.                   Proposed  fee    Unit  cost     Current  fee   Change  in fee    Percentage          of           change in
                                                                                                             increase      applications    annual  fees
                                                                                                                                \1\        collected \2\
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                                                         SCHEDULE OF FEES FOR CONSULAR SERVICES
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 51252]]

 
                                                            PASSPORT AND CITIZENSHIP SERVICES
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8. Administrative Processing of Formal            $2,350          $2,349            $450          $1,900             422           2,378      $4,518,200
 Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship.......
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               NONIMMIGRANT VISA SERVICES
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
21. Nonimmigrant Visa Application and
 Border Crossing Card Processing Fees
 (per person):
    (c) E category nonimmigrant visa....            $205            $205            $270           ($65)             -24          46,901     -$3,048,565
    (d) K category nonimmigrant visa....            $265            $262            $240             $25              10          16,708        $417,700
    (f) Border crossing card--under age              $16           (\3\)             $15              $1               7         250,000        $250,000
     15; for Mexican citizens if parent
     or guardian has or is applying for
     a border crossing card (valid 10
     years or until the applicant
     reaches age 15; whichever is
     sooner)............................
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           IMMIGRANT AND SPECIAL VISA SERVICES
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
32. Immigrant Visa Application
 Processing Fee (per person)
    (a) Immediate relative and family               $325            $322            $230             $95              41         575,360     $54,659,200
     preference applications............
    (b) Employment-based applications...            $345            $344            $405           ($60)             -15          26,811     -$1,608,660
    (c) Other immigrant visa                        $205            $204            $220           ($15)              -7           1,559        -$23,385
     applications (including I-360 self-
     petitioners and special immigrant
     visa applicants)...................
34. Affidavit of Support Review.........            $120            $116             $88             $32              36         317,898     $10,172,736
35. Special Visa Services:
    (a) Determining Returning Resident              $180            $178            $275           ($95)             -35           3,412       -$324,140
     Status.............................
    (c) Waiver of Two-Year Residency                $120            $116            $215           ($95)             -44          10,488       -$996,360
     Requirement........................
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
75. Consular Time Charges...............            $135            $134            $231           ($96)             -42             134        -$12,864
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............     $64,003,862
 

[[Page 51253]]

 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Based on projected FY 2014 workload.
\2\ Using projected FY 2014 workload to generate projections.
\3\ The fee for Border Crossing Card applications by minors is statutorily set.

    Historically, nonimmigrant visa workload has increased year to year 
at approximately 11 percent. The Department anticipates that with the 
current state of the global economy, demand will be approximately 10.1 
million in Fiscal Year 2014. With regard to the economic impact as a 
whole, the more than 94 percent of nonimmigrant visa applications that 
are not petition-based are sought by and paid for entirely by foreign 
national applicants. The revenue increases resulting from those fees 
should not be considered to have a direct cost impact on the domestic 
economy.
    With regard to immigrant visas, many categories are numerically 
capped by law; these caps limit workload and keep current demand fairly 
stable. In FY 2013, the Department issued 9.1 percent of all available 
immigrant visas in Employment-Based categories (capped at 140,000 
including adjustments of status processed domestically by DHS). In FY 
2013, all immigrant visas available under the Diversity Visa program 
were issued (capped at 50,000 including adjustments of status processed 
domestically by DHS). Also in FY 2013, the Department issued 84.9 
percent of the immigrant visas available for Family-Preference 
categories (capped at 226,000 including adjustments of status processed 
domestically by DHS).
    There are nearly 5.7 million applicants currently awaiting 
numerically-controlled visas, sufficient to fill more than 12 years' 
workload at the current annual caps, and this does not take into 
account applicants who would be adjusting status in the United States. 
It is reasonable to expect that the immigrant visa workload for FY 2014 
and FY 2015 will remain about the same as FY 2013. However, please note 
that these estimates do not take into account variables that the 
Department cannot predict at this time, such as legislative changes 
contemplated by Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Executive Orders 12372 and 13132

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the 
states, on the relationship between the national government and the 
states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Sec. 6 of 
Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have 
sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant 
the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The 
regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on federal programs and activities do 
not apply to this regulation.

Executive Order 13175

    The Department has determined that this rulemaking will not have 
tribal implications, will not impose substantial direct compliance 
costs on Indian tribal governments, and will not preempt tribal law. 
Accordingly, the requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to 
this rulemaking.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not create or revise any reporting or record-keeping 
requirements.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 22

    Consular services, Fees, Passports and visas.

    Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the preamble, 22 CFR part 22 
is amended as follows:

PART 22--SCHEDULE OF FEES FOR CONSULAR SERVICES--DEPARTMENT OF 
STATE AND FOREIGN SERVICE

0
1. The authority citation for part 22 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  8 U.S.C. 1101 note, 1153 note, 1183a note, 1351, 
1351 note, 1714, 1714 note; 10 U.S.C. 2602(c); 11 U.S.C. 1157 note; 
22 U.S.C. 214, 214 note, 1475e, 2504(a), 4201, 4206, 4215, 4219, 
6551; 31 U.S.C. 9701; Exec. Order 10,718, 22 FR 4632 (1957); Exec. 
Order 11,295, 31 FR 10603 (1966).

0
2. Section 22.1 is amended by revising the introductory text and items 
8, 21, 32, 34, 35, and 75 in the ``Schedule of Fees for Consular 
Services'' table and removing item 36 to read as follows:


Sec.  22.1  Schedule of fees.

    The following table sets forth the new fees for the following 
categories listed on the U.S. Department of State's Schedule of Fees 
for Consular Services:

                 Schedule of Fees for Consular Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Item No.                                Fee
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    PASSPORT AND CITIZENSHIP SERVICES
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
8. Administrative Processing of       $2,350
 Formal Renunciation of U.S.
 Citizenship.
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              * * * * * * *
                       NONIMMIGRANT VISA SERVICES
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
21. Nonimmigrant Visa Application
 and Border Crossing Card Processing
 Fees (per person):
    (a) Non-petition-based            $160
     nonimmigrant visa (except E
     category).
    (b) H, L, O, P, Q and R category  $190
     nonimmigrant visa.

[[Page 51254]]

 
    (c) E category nonimmigrant visa  $205
    (d) K category (fianc[eacute])    $265
     nonimmigrant visa.
    (e) Border crossing card--age 15  $160
     and over (10 year validity).
    (f) Border crossing card--under   $16
     age 15; for Mexican citizens if
     parent or guardian has or is
     applying for a border crossing
     card (valid 10 years or until
     the applicant reaches age 15,
     whichever is sooner).
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              * * * * * * *
                   IMMIGRANT AND SPECIAL VISA SERVICES
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
32. Immigrant Visa Application
 Processing Fee (per person)
    (a) Immediate relative and        $325
     family preference applications.
    (b) Employment-based              $345
     applications.
    (c) Other immigrant visa          $205
     applications (including I-360
     self-petitioners and special
     immigrant visa applicants).
    (d) Certain Iraqi and Afghan      NO FEE.
     special immigrant visa
     applications.
 
                              * * * * * * *
34. Affidavit of Support Review       $120
 (only when reviewed domestically).
35. Special Visa Services:
    (a) Determining Returning         $180
     Resident Status.
    (b) Waiver of two year residency  $120
     requirement.
    (c) Waiver of immigrant visa      For fee amount, see 8 CFR
     ineligibility (collected for      103.7(b)(1).
     USCIS and subject to change).
    (d) Refugee or significant        NO FEE.
     public benefit parole case
     processing.
(Items 36 through 40 vacant.)
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              * * * * * * *
                         ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
75. Consular Time Charges: As         $135
 required by this schedule and for
 fee services performed away from
 the office or during after-duty
 hours (per hour or part thereof/per
 consular officer).
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Dated: August 14, 2014.
Patrick Kennedy,
Under Secretary of State for Management, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2014-20516 Filed 8-27-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-P