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  • News: DOS Publishes Final Rule on Documentation of Nonimmigrants Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended; TN Visas from NAFTA Countries

    [Federal Register Volume 79, Number 27 (Monday, February 10, 2014)]
    [Rules and Regulations]
    [Pages 7582-7584]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2014-02674]
    22 CFR Part 41
    [Public Notice 8627]
    RIN 1400-AD29
    Visas: Documentation of Nonimmigrants Under the Immigration and 
    Nationality Act, as Amended; TN Visas From NAFTA Countries
    AGENCY: State Department.
    ACTION: Final rule.
    SUMMARY: The Department of State amends its regulation pertaining to 
    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), by removing the 
    petition requirement for citizens of Mexico applying for nonimmigrant 
    visa classification as NAFTA professionals. The rule reflects changes 
    to documentary requirements authorized under the Immigration and 
    Nationality Act, in implementation of NAFTA.
    [[Page 7583]]
    DATES: This rule is effective February 10, 2014.
    Department of State, Office of Legislation and Regulations, CA/VO/L/R, 
    600 19th Street NW., SA-17, Room 12-526B, Washington, DC 20522, 202-
    485-7641 or magadiapl@state.gov
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States, Canada, and Mexico 
    entered into The North American Free Trade Agreement, (NAFTA) (Section 
    D of Annex 1603) in 1994, following enactment of the NAFTA 
    Implementation Act (19 U.S.C. 21). NAFTA includes provisions for the 
    entry of certain citizens of each respective signatory country into the 
    country of either of the two others as ``professionals.'' To gain entry 
    as ``professionals,'' such citizens must meet the qualification 
    criteria for a profession listed in Appendix 1603.D.1, and be seeking 
    temporary entry to engage in a business activity pursuant to that 
        Section 214(e)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 
    provides for a citizen of Canada or Mexico, and the spouse and 
    children, if accompanying or following to join, to be treated as if 
    seeking classification, or classifiable, as a nonimmigrant under INA 
    section 101(a)(15). Section 214(e)(3) of the INA incorporates 
    commitments made in NAFTA Appendix 1603.D.4, directing the Attorney 
    General to establish an annual numerical limit for citizens of Mexico 
    seeking temporary entry to engage in such business activity in the 
    United States. INA section 214(e)(4) establishes conditions to be 
    satisfied before the Secretary of Homeland Security, as successor to 
    the Attorney General, may eliminate the numerical limit. At midnight, 
    on December 31, 2003, the Secretary exercised this authority, and, as 
    of January 1, 2004, eliminated the limitation of 5,500 and the 
    requirement for a petition, which was needed solely for purposes of 
    enforcing the limitation. This change to 22 CFR part 41 will provide 
    consistency in the regulations of both departments governing temporary 
    entry of NAFTA professionals.
        A citizen of Mexico wishing to come to the United States in TN 
    classification no longer needs an approved petition to meet the 
    qualification requirements, but may apply directly to the embassy or 
    consulate abroad for a visa. The consular officer will adjudicate 
    eligibility for TN classification and, upon approval and issuance of a 
    visa, the applicant may apply to the Department of Homeland Security 
    for admission to the United States under TN status.
    Regulatory Findings
    Administrative Procedure Act
        The Department of State is of the opinion that a rulemaking that 
    implements treaty provisions (in this case, NAFTA) is a foreign affairs 
    function of the United States Government and is exempt from sections 
    553 (rulemaking) and 554 (adjudications) of the Administrative 
    Procedure Act. Since this rule is exempt from 5 U.S.C. 553, the 
    provisions of section 553(d) do not apply to this rulemaking.
        In addition, this rulemaking conforms the Department of State rule 
    to the corresponding rule administered by the Department of Homeland 
    Security, 8 CFR 214.6(e). This eliminates ambiguity; therefore, a 
    notice and comment period for this rule would be impractical and 
    unnecessary. This rule is effective upon publication.
    Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business
        Because this rule is exempt from notice and comment rulemaking 
    under 5 U.S.C. 553, it does not require analysis under the Regulatory 
    Flexibility Act.
    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
        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, for 
    purposes of congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small 
    Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. 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 
    final regulation justify its costs. The Department of State 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. Nor will the rule have federalism 
    implications warranting the application of Executive Orders No. 12372 
    and No. 13132.
    Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform
        The Department has reviewed the rule 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.
    Paperwork Reduction Act
        This rule does not impose any new reporting or recordkeeping 
    requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 
    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 41
        Aliens, Immigration, Nonimmigrant Visas.
        For the reasons stated in the preamble, 22 CFR part 41 is amended 
    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 41.59 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(3), and 
    (b) and removing paragraph (a)(4).
        The revisions read as follows:
    Sec.  41.59  Professionals under the North American Free Trade 
        (a) * * *
        (2) The alien shall have presented to the consular officer 
    sufficient evidence of an offer of employment in the United
    [[Page 7584]]
    States requiring employment of a person in a professional capacity 
    consistent with NAFTA Chapter 16 Annex 1603 Appendix 1603.D.1 and 
    sufficient evidence that the alien possesses the credentials of that 
    profession as listed in said appendix; or
        (3) The alien is the spouse or child of an alien so classified in 
    accordance with paragraph (a)(2) of this section and is accompanying or 
    following to join the principal alien.
        (b) Visa validity. The period of validity of a visa issued pursuant 
    to paragraph (a) of this section may not exceed the period established 
    on a reciprocal basis.
    * * * * *
        Dated: January 22, 2014.
    Janice L. Jacobs,
    Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2014-02674 Filed 2-7-14; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 4710-06-P
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