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[Federal Register: September 8, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 175)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
22 CFR Parts 40 and 42
[Public Notice 3377]
Documentation of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Under the
Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended--Change in Procedures for
Payment of Immigrant Visa Fees
AGENCY: Department of State.
ACTION: Interim Rule.
SUMMARY: This rule adopts a proposed rule published October 28, 1999
[64 FR 58004] to the extent of clarifying that the new requirement that
immigrant visa applicants must pay the application processing fee prior
to the time of formal application for a visa will be phased-in to
ensure that unanticipated problems are resolved prior to world-wide
DATES: Effective September 8, 2000. Comments must be received by
November 7, 2000.
ADDRESSES: Comments may be sent to Chief, Legislation and Regulations
Division, Visa Services, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-
0106, e-mail, email@example.com or FAX: (202) 663-3898.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: H. Edward Odom, Chief, Legislation and
Regulations Division, Visa Services, Department of State, Washington,
D.C. 20520-0106, (202) 663-1204.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department received no comments relating
to the original proposed rule and assumes, therefore, that the
rationale for the change was accepted by all parties. Most new
programs, of every variety, have experienced problems at the initial
stage, however. The Department believes it prudent, under those
circumstances, to apply this new rule initially only with respect to
applicants at certain posts which are already participating in a
special program at the National Visa Center. Applicants at all other
posts will continue to pay fees in accordance with current procedures
until such time as the Department is satisfied the system is effective
and those other posts are phased into this program.
The ten posts selected for the special program together represent
about 40% of all immigrant visa applicants. The program is thus both
large enough in terms of volume and small enough in terms of
applicability as to be a feasible test. Additional posts will be phased
in based on the size of their overall operations beginning with the
next largest. It is anticipated that all posts will be included in this
new procedure within the next two, possibly three, years.
The 10 posts at which advanced payment of the application
processing fee must be paid are: Manila, Ciudad Juarez, Santo Domingo,
Guangzhou, Bogota, Port au Prince, Georgetown, Freetown, Tirana, and
Montreal. As noted above, at all other posts that fee will continue to
be paid immediately prior to formal application for a visa until each
such post is designated by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the new
No further changes are being made in the rule proposed on October
List of Subjects in 22 CFR Parts 40 and 42
Aliens, Immigration, Passports and visas.
Accordingly, the Department of State amends 22 CFR Chapter I as set
1. The authority citation for Part 40 is amended to read:
Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1104.
2. Amend Sec. 40.1 by redesignating paragraphs (l), (m), (n), (o),
(p), (q), (r), and (s) as paragraphs (m), (n), (o), (p), (q), (r), (s),
and (t), respectively, and adding a new paragraph (l) to read:
Sec. 40.1 Definitions.
* * * * *
(l) Make or file an application for a visa means:
(1) For a nonimmigrant visa applicant, submitting for formal
adjudication by a consular officer of a completed Form OF-156, with any
required supporting documents and the requisite processing fee or
evidence of the prior payment of the processing fee when such documents
are received and accepted for adjudication by the consular officer.
(2) For an immigrant visa applicant, personally appearing before a
consular officer and verifying by oath or affirmation the statements
contained on the Form OF-230 and in all supporting documents, having
previously submitted all forms and documents required in advance of the
appearance and paid the visa application processing fee.
* * * * *
3. The authority citation for Part 42 continues to read:
Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1104.
4. Revise Sec. 42.71(b) to read as follows:
Sec. 42.71 Authority to issue visas; visa fees.
* * * * *
(b) Immigrant visa fees. The Secretary of State prescribes separate
fees for the processing of immigrant visa applications and for the
issuance of immigrant visas thereafter to persons whose applications
are approved. An individual registered for immigrant visa processing at
a post designated for this purpose by the Deputy Assistant Secretary
for Visa Services must pay the processing fee upon being notified that
a visa is expected to become available in the near future and being
requested to obtain the supporting documentation needed to apply
formally for a visa, in accordance with instructions received with such
notification. The fee must be paid before an applicant at a post so
designated will receive an appointment to appear and make application
before a consular officer. Applicants at a post not yet so designated
will continue to pay the fee immediately prior to formal application
for a visa. All applicants must pay the issuance fee after the consular
officer has completed the visa interview and approved issuance of the
visa, but prior to its issuance. A fee collected for the processing of
an immigrant visa application is refundable only if the principal
officer of a post or the officer in charge of a consular section
determines that the notification of prospective visa availability was
sufficiently erroneous to preclude the applicant from benefiting from
the processing. A fee collected for the issuance of an immigrant visa
is refundable only if either of such officers determines that the visa
was issued in error or could not be used as a result of U.S. Government
actions over which the alien had no control and for which the alien was
not responsible in whole or in part.
Dated: August 14, 2000.
Mary A. Ryan,
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs.
[FR Doc. 00-23115 Filed 9-7-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-P
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