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  • News: DOS Publishes Final Rule on Visa Classification of Immediate Family Members as G Nonimmigrants

    Federal Register, Volume 78 Issue 108 (Wednesday, June 5, 2013)
    [Federal Register Volume 78, Number 108 (Wednesday, June 5, 2013)]
    [Rules and Regulations]
    [Pages 33699-33700]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2013-13315]
    22 CFR Part 41
    [Public Notice 8348]
    RIN 1400-AD21
    Visas: Classification of Immediate Family Members as G 
    AGENCY: State Department.
    ACTION: Final rule.
    SUMMARY: This rule permits qualified immediate family members of A-1 or 
    A-2 nonimmigrants to be independently classified as G-1, G-2, G-3, or 
    G-4 nonimmigrants. It also clarifies that immediate family members of 
    G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 nonimmigrants who have employment authorization 
    may remain in G classification upon gaining employment that would 
    otherwise allow them to change status to A classification. This rule is 
    being promulgated to allow family members of employees of bilateral 
    missions to work at international organizations in a visa status that 
    reflects their position with the international organization.
    DATES: This rule is effective June 5, 2013.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lauren A. Prosnik, Legislation and 
    Regulations Division, Visa Services, Department of State, 2401 E Street 
    NW., Room L-603D, Washington, DC 20520-0106, (202) 663-1260.
    Why is the Department promulgating this rule?
        Currently, 22 CFR 41.22(b) requires that an alien entitled to 
    classification as an A-1 or A-2 nonimmigrant must be classified as 
    such, even those who are also eligible for another nonimmigrant 
    classification. This rule will allow an A-1 or A-2 derivative applicant 
    who works for an international organization to be classified as G-1, G-
    2, G-3, or G-4 nonimmigrant.
        Additionally, this rule amends 22 CFR 41.24(b)(4) to clarify that 
    an immediate family member of a principal alien classifiable G-1 or G-
    2, G-3 or G-4 who has employment authorization may maintain G 
    classification, even if employment obtained after entry would allow 
    them to be classified under INA 101(a)(15)(A).
        With this change, family members of diplomats assigned to the 
    United States will be able to accept employment with international 
    organizations and obtain visas that reflect their status as employees 
    of such organizations, rather than as diplomatic dependents. Inability 
    to obtain G visas has posed an impediment to the employment of some 
    individuals in this category.
    Regulatory Findings
    Administrative Procedure Act
        This regulation involves a foreign affairs function of the United 
    States and, therefore, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1), is not 
    subject to the rulemaking procedures set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553.
    Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business
        Because this final rule is exempt from notice and comment 
    rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 553, it is exempt from the regulatory 
    flexibility analysis requirements set forth by the Regulatory 
    Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 603 and 604). Nonetheless, consistent with 
    the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the Department 
    certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on 
    a substantial number of small entities.
    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
        Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 
    1532, generally requires agencies to prepare a statement before 
    proposing any rule that may result in an annual expenditure of $100 
    million or more by State, local, or tribal governments, or by the 
    private sector. This rule will not result in any such expenditure, nor 
    will it significantly or uniquely affect small governments.
     Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996
        This rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804. This rule 
    will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or 
    more; a major increase in costs or prices; or adverse effects on 
    competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the 
    ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based 
    companies in domestic and import markets.
    Executive Order 12866
        The Department of State has reviewed this rule to ensure its 
    consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in 
    Executive Order 12866 and has determined that the benefits of this 
    regulation outweigh any cost. The Department does not consider this 
    rule to be an economically significant action within the scope of 
    section 3(f)(1) of the Executive Order since it is not likely to have 
    an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or to adversely 
    affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, 
    competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, 
    local or tribal governments or communities.
    Executive Orders 12372 and 13132: Federalism
        This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the 
    States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
    States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
    various levels of government. The rule will not have federalism 
    implications warranting the application of Executive Orders 12372 and 
    [[Page 33700]]
    Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform
        The Department has reviewed the regulation in light of sections 
    3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, 
    minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce 
    Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review
        The Department has considered this rule in light of Executive Order 
    13563, dated January 18, 2011, and affirms that this regulation is 
    consistent with the guidance therein.
    Paperwork Reduction Act
        This rule does not impose information collection requirements under 
    the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.
    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 41
        Aliens, Documentation of nonimmigrants, Foreign officials, 
    Immigration, Passports and Visas.
        For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of State 
    amends 22 CFR part 41 to read as follows:
    PART 41--[AMENDED]
    1. The authority citation for Part 41 continues to read as follows:
        Authority:  8 U.S.C. 1104; Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681-795 
    through 2681-801; 8 U.S.C. 1185 note (section 7209 of Pub. L. 108-
    458, as amended by section 546 of Pub. L. 109-295).
    2. Section 41.22 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) and (b) to read 
    as follows:
    Sec.  41.22  Officials of foreign governments.
        (a) Criteria for classification of foreign government officials. 
    (1) An alien is classifiable A-1 or A-2 under INA section 101(a)(15)(A) 
    (i) or (ii) if the principal alien:
        (i) Has been accredited by a foreign government recognized de jure 
    by the United States;
        (ii) Intends to engage solely in official activities for that 
    foreign government while in the United States; and
        (iii) Has been accepted by the President, the Secretary of State, 
    or a consular officer acting on behalf of the Secretary of State.
        (2) A member of the immediate family of a principal alien is 
    classifiable A-1 or A-2 under INA section 101(a)(15)(A)(i) or (ii) if 
    the principal alien is so classified.
        (b) Classification under INA section 101(a)(15)(A). An alien 
    entitled to classification under INA section 101(a)(15)(A) shall be 
    classified under this section even if eligible for another nonimmigrant 
    classification. An exception may be made where an immediate family 
    member classifiable as A-1 or A-2 under paragraph (a)(2) of this 
    section is also independently classifiable as a principal under INA 
    section 101(a)(15)(G)(i), (ii), (iii), or (iv).
    * * * * *
    3. Section 41.24 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
    Sec.  41.24  International organization aliens.
    * * * * *
        (b) Aliens coming to international organizations. (1) An alien is 
    classifiable under INA 101(a)(15)(G) if the consular officer is 
    satisfied that the alien is within one of the classes described in that 
    section and seeks to enter or transit the United States in pursuance of 
    official duties. If the purpose of the entry or transit is other than 
    pursuance of official duties, the alien is not classifiable under INA 
    section 101(a)(15)(G).
        (2) An alien applying for a visa under the provisions of INA 
    section 101(a)(15)(G) may not be refused solely on the grounds that the 
    applicant is not a national of the country whose government the 
    applicant represents.
        (3) An alien seeking to enter the United States as a foreign 
    government representative to an international organization, who is also 
    proceeding to the United States on official business as a foreign 
    government official within the meaning of INA section 101(a)(15)(A), 
    shall be issued a visa under that section, if otherwise qualified.
        (4) An alien not classified under INA section 101(a)(15)(A) but 
    entitled to classification under INA section 101(a)(15)(G) shall be 
    classified under the latter section, even if also eligible for another 
    nonimmigrant classification. An alien classified under INA section 
    101(a)(15)(G) as an immediate family member of a principal alien 
    classifiable G-1 or G-2, G-3 or G-4, may continue to be so classified 
    even if he or she obtains employment subsequent to his or her initial 
    entry into the United States that would allow classification under INA 
    section 101(a)(15)(A). Such alien shall not be classified in a category 
    other than A or G, even if also eligible for another nonimmigrant 
    * * * * *
        Dated: May 2, 2013.
    Janice L. Jacobs,
    Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2013-13315 Filed 6-4-13; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 4710-06-P
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