[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 61 (Monday, March 31, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 17852-17854]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-07254]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

8 CFR Part 217

RIN 1601-AA70


Designation of Chile for the Visa Waiver Program

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary; DHS.

ACTION: Final rule; technical amendment.

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SUMMARY: Eligible citizens, nationals and passport holders from
designated Visa Waiver Program countries may apply for admission to the
United States at U.S. ports of entry as nonimmigrant aliens for a
period of ninety days or less for business or pleasure without first
obtaining a nonimmigrant visa, provided that they are otherwise
eligible for admission under applicable statutory and regulatory
requirements. On February 28, 2014, the Secretary of Homeland Security,
in consultation with the Secretary of State designated Chile as a
country that is eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program.
Accordingly, this rule updates the list of countries designated for
participation in the Visa Waiver Program by adding Chile.

DATES: This final rule is effective on March 31, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gianfranco Corti, Department of
Homeland Security, Visa Waiver Program Office, (202) 282-8732.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. The Visa Waiver Program

Pursuant to section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act
(INA), 8 U.S.C. 1187, the Secretary of Homeland Security (the
Secretary), in consultation with the Secretary of State, may designate
certain countries as Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries \1\ if

[[Page 17853]]

certain requirements are met. Those requirements include, without
limitation: (1) A U.S. Government determination that the country meets
the applicable statutory requirement with respect to nonimmigrant
visitor visa refusals for nationals of the country; (2) an official
certification that it issues machine-readable passports that comply
with internationally accepted standards; (3) a U.S. Government
determination that the country's designation would not negatively
affect U.S. law enforcement and security interests; (4) an agreement
with the United States to report, or make available through other
designated means, to the U.S. Government information about the theft or
loss of passports; (5) a U.S. Government determination that the
government accepts for repatriation any citizen, former citizen, or
national not later than three weeks after the issuance of a final
executable order of removal; and (6) an agreement with the United
States to share information regarding whether citizens or nationals of
the country represent a threat to the security or welfare of the United
States or its citizens.
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\1\ All references to ``country'' or ``countries'' in the laws
authorizing the Visa Waiver Program are read to include Taiwan. See
Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, Public Law 96-8, section 4(b)(1)
(codified at 22 U.S.C. 3303(b)(1)) (providing that ``[w]henever the
laws of the United States refer or relate to foreign countries,
nations, states, governments, or similar entities, such terms shall
include and such laws shall apply with respect to Taiwan''). This is
consistent with the United States' one-China policy, under which the
United States has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan since
1979.
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The INA also sets forth requirements for continued eligibility and,
where appropriate, probation and/or termination of program countries.
Prior to this final rule, the designated countries in the VWP were
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland,
Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta,
Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of
Korea, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.\2\ See 8 CFR 217.2(a).
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\2\ The United Kingdom refers only to British citizens who have
the unrestricted right of permanent abode in the United Kingdom
(England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and
the Isle of Man); it does not refer to British overseas citizens,
British dependent territories' citizens, or citizens of British
Commonwealth countries.
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Citizens and eligible nationals of VWP countries may apply for
admission to the United States at U.S. ports of entry as nonimmigrant
visitors for a period of ninety days or less for business or pleasure
without first obtaining a nonimmigrant visa, provided that they are
otherwise eligible for admission under applicable statutory and
regulatory requirements. To travel to the United States under the VWP,
an alien must satisfy the following:
(1) Be seeking admission as a nonimmigrant visitor for business or
pleasure for ninety days or less;
(2) be a national of a program country;
(3) present an electronic passport or a machine-readable passport
issued by a designated VWP participant country to the air or vessel
carrier before departure; \3\
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\3\ For countries designated as VWP countries on or after
November 17, 2008, including Chile, only passports containing an
electronic chip that includes the biographic and biometric
information of the passport holder are authorized for VWP travel.
However, for countries designated as VWP countries prior to November
17, 2008, passports issued before October 26, 2006 need not contain
an electronic chip with the holder's biographic and biometric
information, provided that such passports comply with International
Civil Aviation Organization machine readable standards. See 8 U.S.C.
1732(c)(2).
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(4) execute the required immigration forms;
(5) if arriving by air or sea, arrive on an authorized carrier;
(6) not represent a threat to the welfare, health, safety or
security of the United States;
(7) have not violated U.S. immigration law during any previous
admission under the VWP;
(8) possess a round-trip ticket, unless exempted by statute or
federal regulation;
(9) waive the right to review or appeal a decision regarding
admissibility or to contest, other than on the basis of an application
for asylum, any action for removal; and
(10) obtain an approved travel authorization via the Electronic
System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). For more information about the
ESTA, please see the interim final rule at 73 FR 32440 (June 9, 2008),
and implementing notice at 73 FR 67354 (Nov. 13, 2008).

See sections 217(a) and 217(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
(INA), 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)-(b); see also 8 CFR part 217.

B. Designation of Chile

The Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the
Department of State, has evaluated Chile for VWP designation to ensure
that it meets the requirements set forth in section 217 of the INA, as
amended by section 711 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11
Commission Act of 2007, Public Law 110-53. The Secretary has determined
that Chile has satisfied the statutory requirements for initial VWP
designation; therefore, the Secretary, in consultation with the
Secretary of State, has designated Chile as a program country.\4\
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\4\ The Secretary of State nominated Chile for participation in
the VWP on June 3, 2013.
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This final rule adds Chile to the list of countries authorized to
participate in the VWP. Accordingly, beginning March 31, 2014, eligible
citizens and nationals of Chile may apply for admission to the United
States at U.S. ports of entry as nonimmigrant visitors for business or
pleasure for a period of ninety days or less without first obtaining a
nonimmigrant visa, provided that they are otherwise eligible for
admission under applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

C. Technical Corrections

This final rule also deletes from the regulatory text outdated
language regarding Belgium and unnecessary language regarding Tawian.
First, the regulatory text includes a specific requirement for Belgian
citizens traveling under the VWP after May 15, 2003 to present a
machine readable passport. This requirement for a machine readable
passport has been extended to all VWP countries. See INA section
217(a)(3), 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(3). Therefore, the specific reference to
Belgium has been removed. Second, the regulatory text referencing the
Secretary's authority to designate Tawain to the VWP is unnecessary and
has been removed for clarity.

III. Statutory And Regulatory Requirements

A. Administrative Procedure Act

Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b)), an agency
may waive the normal notice and comment requirements if it finds, for
good cause, that they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest. The final rule merely lists a country that the
Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of
State, has designated as a VWP eligible country in accordance with
section 217(c) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(c). This amendment is a
technical change to merely update the list of VWP countries. Therefore,
notice and comment for this rule is unnecessary and contrary to the
public interest because the rule has no substantive impact, is
technical in nature, and relates only to management, organization,
procedure, and practice. For the same reasons, pursuant to 5 U.S.C.
553(d)(3), a delayed effective date is not required.
This final rule is also excluded from the rulemaking provisions of
5 U.S.C.

[[Page 17854]]

553 as a foreign affairs function of the United States because it
advances the President's foreign policy goals and directly involves
relationships between the United States and its alien visitors.
Accordingly, DHS is not required to provide public notice and an
opportunity to comment before implementing the requirements under this
final rule.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 603(b)), as amended
by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996
(SBREFA), requires an agency to prepare and make available to the
public a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of a
proposed rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small
organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions) when the agency is
required ``to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking for any
proposed rule.'' Because this rule is being issued as a final rule, on
the grounds set forth above, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not
required under the RFA.
DHS has considered the impact of this rule on small entities and
has determined that this rule will not have a significant economic
impact on a substantial number of small entities. The individual aliens
to whom this rule applies are not small entities as that term is
defined in 5 U.S.C. 601(6). Accordingly, there is no change expected in
any process as a result of this rule that would have a direct effect,
either positive or negative, on a small entity.

C. Unfunded Mandates Reform 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 one 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.

D. Executive Order 12866

This amendment does not meet the criteria for a ``significant
regulatory action'' as specified in Executive Order 12866.

E. Executive Order 13132

The rule 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 section 6 of Executive
Order 13132, DHS has determined that this final rule does not have
sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a
federalism summary impact statement.

F. Executive Order 12988 Civil Justice Reform

This rule meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a)
and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

G. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Department of Homeland Security is modifying OMB Control Number
1651-0111, Arrival and Departure Record, to allow eligible Chilean
passport holders to use the Electronic System for Travel Authorization
(ESTA) to apply for authorization to travel under the VWP prior to
departing for the United States. CBP uses the information to assist in
determining if an applicant is eligible for travel under the VWP. The
Department is requesting emergency processing of this change to 1651-
0111 as the information is essential to the mission of the agency and
is needed prior to the expiration of time periods established under the
PRA. Because of the designation of Chile for participation in the VWP,
the Department is requesting OMB approval of this information
collection in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44
U.S.C. 3507).
The addition of Chile to the Visa Waiver Program will result in an
estimated annual increase to information collection 1651-0111 of
180,000 responses and 45,000 burden hours. The total burden hours for
ESTA, including Chile, is as follows:
Estimated annual reporting burden: 4,830,000 hours.
Estimated number of respondents: 19,320,000 respondents.
Estimated average annual burden per respondent: 15 minutes.

List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 217

Air carriers, Aliens, Maritime carriers, Passports and visas.

Amendments to the Regulations

For the reasons stated in the preamble, DHS amends part 217 of
title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR part 217), as set
forth below.

PART 217--VISA WAIVER PROGRAM

0
1. The authority citation for part 217 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1103, 1187; 8 CFR part 2.


0
2. In Sec. 217.2 the definition of the term ``Designated country'' in
paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 217.2 Eligibility.

(a) * * *
Designated country refers to Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium,
Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France,
Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia,
Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands,
New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, San Marino,
Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,
Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom refers only to
British citizens who have the unrestricted right of permanent abode in
the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the
Channel Islands and the Isle of Man); it does not refer to British
overseas citizens, British dependent territories' citizens, or citizens
of British Commonwealth countries. Taiwan refers only to individuals
who have unrestricted right of permanent abode on Taiwan and are in
possession of an electronic passport bearing a personal identification
(household registration) number.
* * * * *

Jeh Charles Johnson,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2014-07254 Filed 3-28-14; 8:45 am]
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