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  • News: DOS Amends Waiver for Members of Armed Forces and Coast Guards of Foreign Countries

    Federal Register, Volume 79 Issue 67 (Tuesday, April 8, 2014)
    [Federal Register Volume 79, Number 67 (Tuesday, April 8, 2014)]
    [Rules and Regulations]
    [Pages 19288-19289]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2014-07866]
    
    
    =======================================================================
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE
    
    22 CFR Part 41
    
    [Public Notice: 8687]
    RIN 1400-AD51
    
    
    Visas: Waiver by Joint Action of Visa and Passport Requirements 
    for Members of Armed Forces and Coast Guards of Foreign Countries
    
    AGENCY: Department of State.
    
    ACTION: Final rule.
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    SUMMARY: The Department of State is amending its regulations regarding 
    the waiver by joint action of consular and immigration officers of visa 
    and passport requirements for members of foreign armed forces and coast 
    guards. Specifically, the regulation, as amended, removes the current 
    list of countries whose armed forces members are ineligible for a such 
    a waiver, and provides that, in every case, when entry of foreign armed 
    forces and coast guard members is proposed under arrangements made with 
    the appropriate military authorities of the United States and after 
    coordination within the U.S. Government by those U.S. military 
    authorities, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of 
    State will jointly decide whether to approve waiver of the visa and/or 
    passport requirements.
    
    DATES: Effective Date: This rule becomes effective April 8, 2014.
    
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Liu, Legislation and 
    Regulations Division, Legal Affairs, Office of Visa Services, Bureau of 
    Consular Affairs, Department of State, 600 19th Street NW., Washington, 
    DC 20520-0106, (202) 485-7648, email (LiuJN@state.gov).
    
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    
    Why is the Department promulgating this rule?
    
        This final rule implements the joint determination of the 
    Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security to remove 
    the list of countries whose citizens or residents are currently 
    ineligible for a waiver under 22 CFR 41.3(e), pursuant to authority 
    under section 212(d)(4)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
    (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(4)(A), as such a list is considered unnecessary 
    and requires regular and resource-intensive review. The amended 
    regulation clarifies that, in every case, when entry of members of 
    foreign armed forces and coast guard into the United States is proposed 
    under arrangements made with the appropriate military authorities of 
    the United States and after coordination within the U.S. Government by 
    those U.S. military authorities, the Department of Homeland Security 
    and the Department of State will jointly decide, as a matter of 
    discretion, whether to approve a waiver of the visa and/or passport 
    requirements for the foreign armed forces and coast guard members. 
    Finally, the amended rule extends authority to grant a waiver under 22 
    CFR 41.3 to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Visa Services 
    or his or her designee, in addition to the consular officer serving the 
    port or place of embarkation, jointly with the appropriate immigration 
    officer within DHS.
    
    [[Page 19289]]
    
    Regulatory Findings
    
    A. Administrative Procedure Act
    
        The Department of State is of the opinion that waiver of visa and 
    passport requirements for foreign armed forces and coast guards is a 
    foreign affairs function of the United States Government and that rules 
    implementing this function are exempt from section 553 (Rulemaking) and 
    section 554 (Adjudications) of the Administrative Procedure Act.
    
    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 
    section 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. Law 
    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 is of the opinion that waiver of visa and passport 
    requirements for foreign armed forces and coast guards is a foreign 
    affairs function of the United States Government and that rules 
    governing the conduct of this function are exempt from the requirements 
    of Executive Order 12866. However, the Department has reviewed the 
    proposed rule to ensure its consistency with the regulatory philosophy 
    and principles set forth in the Executive Order.
    
    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
    
        Aliens, Foreign officials, Passports and visas, Students.
    
        For the above reasons, 22 CFR Part 41 is amended as follows:
    
    PART 41--[AMENDED]
    
    0
    1. The authority citation for Part 41 is revised to read as follows:
    
        Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1104, 1182(d), 1185 note; 112 Stat. 2681-
    795.
    
    
    0
    2. Section 41.3 is amended by revising the introductory text and 
    paragraph (e), to read as follows:
    
    
    Sec.  41.3  Waiver by joint action of consular and immigration officers 
    of passport and/or visa requirements.
    
        Under the authority of INA 212(d)(4), the documentary requirements 
    of INA 212(a)(7)(B)(i)(I), (i)(II) may be waived for any alien in whose 
    case the consular officer serving the port or place of embarkation, or 
    the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Visa Services or his or her 
    designee, is satisfied after consultation with, and concurrence by, the 
    appropriate immigration officer, that the case falls within any of the 
    following categories:
    * * * * *
        (e) Members of armed forces and coast guards of foreign countries; 
    visa and passport waiver. An alien on active duty in the armed forces 
    or coast guard of a foreign country and a member of a group of such 
    armed forces or coast guard traveling to the United States, on behalf 
    of the alien's government or the United Nations, under arrangements 
    made with the appropriate military authorities of the United States, 
    coordinated within the U.S. Government by those U.S. military 
    authorities, and approved by the Department of State and the Department 
    of Homeland Security for such visit.
    * * * * *
    
        Dated: March 28, 2014.
    Janice L. Jacobs,
    Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2014-07866 Filed 4-7-14; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 4710-06-P
    
    
    
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