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[Federal Register: September 8, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 175)]

[Rules and Regulations]               

[Page 54412-54413]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []





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, 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 
26, 1999.
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 
forth below.


    1. The authority citation for Part 40 is amended to read:
[[Page 54413]]
    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]