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  • News: DOS Publishes Final Rule on Regulatory Exception for Certain Nonimmigrant Visa Classifications

    Federal Register, Volume 78 Issue 215 (Wednesday, November 6, 2013)
    [Federal Register Volume 78, Number 215 (Wednesday, November 6, 2013)]
    [Rules and Regulations]
    [Pages 66813-66815]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2013-26590]
    
    
    
    [[Page 66813]]
    
    Vol. 78
    
    Wednesday,
    
    No. 215
    
    November 6, 2013
    
    Part II
    
    
    
    
    
     Department of State
    
    
    
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    
    
    
    22 CFR Part 41
    
    
    
    
    
    Visas: Regulatory Exception to Permit Compliance With the United 
    Nations Headquarters Agreement and Other International Obligations and 
    Clarification of the Definition of ``Immediate Family'' for Certain 
    Nonimmigrant Visa Classifications; Final Rule
    
    Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 215 / Wednesday, November 6, 2013 / 
    Rules and Regulations
    
    [[Page 66814]]
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE
    
    22 CFR Part 41
    
    [Public Notice 8511]
    RIN 1400-AD43
    
    
    Visas: Regulatory Exception to Permit Compliance With the United 
    Nations Headquarters Agreement and Other International Obligations and 
    Clarification of the Definition of ``Immediate Family'' for Certain 
    Nonimmigrant Visa Classifications
    
    AGENCY: Department of State.
    
    ACTION: Final rule.
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    SUMMARY: This final rule creates a regulatory exception to visa 
    restrictions under applicable laws providing for such an exception, in 
    order to permit compliance with the Agreement between the United States 
    and the United Nations Regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations 
    (UNHQA), signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, entered into force 
    November 21, 1947, and other international obligations. This rule also 
    clarifies that the Department of State's definition of ``immediate 
    family'' for classifications and also applies to foreign government 
    officials who may be admitted in immediate and continuous transit 
    through the United States, and to all relevant NATO visa 
    classifications under the Agreement on the Status of the North Atlantic 
    Treaty Organization, National Representatives, and International Staff, 
    signed at Ottawa, September 20, 1951, entered into force May 18 1954.
    
    DATES: This rule is effective November 6, 2013.
    
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Liu, Legislation and 
    Regulations Division, Legal Affairs, Office of Visa Services, Bureau of 
    Consular Affairs, Department of State, 2401 E Street NW., Room L-603D, 
    Washington, DC 20520-0106, (202) 663-1203, email (LiuJN@state.gov).
    
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    
    Why is the Department promulgating this rule?
    
        This rule amends paragraph (d)(4) of 22 CFR 41.21, by broadening 
    the regulatory exception to visa restrictions under applicable laws 
    providing for such an exception, in order to allow compliance with the 
    UNQHA and other international obligations. Currently, 22 CFR 
    41.21(d)(4) implements exceptions to the visa restrictions that are 
    contained in the Tom Lantos Bloc Burmese JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic 
    Efforts) Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-286), in order to permit the United 
    States to comply with the UNHQA and other applicable international 
    agreements, and to permit operation of the U.S. and Burmese diplomatic 
    missions and other official U.S. business in Burma. Other statutory 
    visa restrictions contain similar exceptions, which the regulation does 
    not currently implement. For example, the Secretary of State is also 
    authorized to prescribe regulations providing for exceptions to the 
    visa restrictions to permit the United States to comply with the UNHQA 
    and other applicable international obligations under Section 105(c) of 
    the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 
    2010 (CISADA) (Pub. L. 111-195) and Executive Order 13553, and Section 
    301(d) of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 
    (ITRA) (Pub. L. 112-158) and Presidential Memorandum of October 9, 
    2012, 78 FR 21183 (Apr. 19, 2013). This rule amends 22 CFR 41.21(d) to 
    implement exceptions to the visa restrictions contained in such 
    legislation, to allow the United States to comply with UNHQA and other 
    applicable international obligations. The term ``international 
    obligations'' includes ``international agreements,'' and is used to 
    cover the scope of exceptions authorized by ITRA and CISADA. This final 
    rule retains the exception authorized by the JADE Act to permit 
    operation of the U.S. and Burmese missions and other official U.S. 
    business in Burma.
        Additionally, this rule amends 22 CFR 41.21(a)(3) to clarify that, 
    under the Agreement on the Status of the North Atlantic Treaty 
    Organization, National Representatives, and International Staff, the 
    definition of ``immediate family'' used for the classifications in INA 
    101(a)(15)(A) and 101(a)(15)(G) also applies to classifications under 
    all the NATO visa symbols, where applicable. Similarly, this rule 
    adopts the same definition of ``immediate family'' for purposes of INA 
    212(d)(8), which permits the admission of officials of foreign 
    governments and their immediate families who are in immediate and 
    continuous transit through the United States without regard to certain 
    provisions of the INA.
    
    Regulatory Findings
    
    A. Administrative Procedure Act
    
        The Department is publishing this rule as a final rule based on its 
    determination that 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 rule making procedures set forth at 5 
    U.S.C. 553.
    
    B. 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 at sections 603 and 604 of 
    the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 603 and 604). Nonetheless, 
    consistent with section 605(b) of 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. 
    This rule regulates individual aliens applying for visas under INA 
    Sec.  101(A)(15) and does not affect any small entities, as defined in 
    5 U.S.C. 601(6).
    
    C. The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
    
        Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 
    104-4, 109 Stat. 48, codified at 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.
    
    D. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996
    
        This rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804, for 
    purposes of congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small 
    Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121). 
    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.
    
    E. Executive Order 12866
    
        The Department has reviewed this proposed 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 
    final regulation outweigh its costs. The Department does not consider 
    this final 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
    
    [[Page 66815]]
    
    of $100 million or more or 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.
    
    F. Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review
    
        The Department has considered this rule in light of Executive Order 
    13563 and affirms that this regulation is consistent with the guidance 
    therein.
    
    G. 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 No. 12372 
    and No. 13132.
    
    H. Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform
    
        The Department has reviewed the regulations in light of sections 
    3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order No. 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, 
    minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce 
    burden.
    
    I. 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 pre-empt tribal law. 
    Accordingly, the requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to 
    this rulemaking.
    
    J. Paperwork Reduction Act
    
        This rule does not impose new 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
    
        Documentation of nonimmigrants.
    
        Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the 22 CFR 
    part 41 is amended as follows:
    
    PART 41--[AMENDED]
    
    0
    1. The authority citation for Part 41 continues to read as follows:
    
        Authority:  8 U.S.C. 1104.
    
    
    0
    2. In Sec.  41.21, paragraphs (a)(3) and (d)(4) are revised to read as 
    follows:
    
    
    Sec.  41.21  Foreign Officials--General.
    
        (a) * * *
        (3) Immediate family, as used in INA 101(a)(15)(A), 101(a)(15)(G), 
    and 212(d)(8), and in classification under the NATO visa symbols, means 
    the spouse and unmarried sons and daughters, whether by blood or 
    adoption, who are not members of some other household, and who will 
    reside regularly in the household of the principal alien. ``Immediate 
    family'' also includes individuals who:
        (i) Are not members of some other household;
        (ii) Will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien;
        (iii) Are recognized as immediate family members of the principal 
    alien by the sending Government as demonstrated by eligibility for 
    rights and benefits, such as the issuance of a diplomatic or official 
    passport, or travel or other allowances; and
        (iv) Are individually authorized by the Department.
    * * * * *
        (d) * * *
        (4) Notwithstanding the visa restrictions imposed by applicable 
    laws and consistent with a provision in such laws providing for a 
    regulatory exception to the visa restrictions contained therein, a visa 
    may be issued to a visa applicant who is otherwise ineligible for a 
    visa under such laws:
        (i) To permit the United States to comply with the United Nations 
    Headquarters Agreement and other applicable international obligations; 
    and
        (ii) To permit the United States and Burma to operate their 
    diplomatic missions, and to permit the United States to conduct other 
    official United States Government business in Burma.
    * * * * *
    
        Dated: September 26, 2013.
    Janice L. Jacobs,
    Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2013-26590 Filed 11-5-13; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 4710-06-P
    
    
    
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