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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: June 15, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 116)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 32540-32541]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr15jn01-9]                         
=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 41

[Public Notice 3697]

Documentation of Nonimmigrants Under the Immigration and 
Nationality Act, as Amended: Aliens Ineligible To Transit Without Visas 
(TWOV)--Russia

AGENCY: Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State.

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY: Section 212(d)(4)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
(INA) permits the Secretary of State, acting jointly with the Attorney 
General, to waive the visa and passport requirement of INA 212(a)(7)(B) 
for certain aliens in direct transit through the United States. This 
waiver allows an alien to transit the United States without a passport 
and visa provided the alien is traveling on a carrier signatory to an 
agreement with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in 
accordance with INA 233(c) and bears documentation establishing 
identity and nationality which permits the alien's entry into another 
country. This rule removes Russia from the list of countries that are 
ineligible to transit without visa (TWOV) that was published on January 
5, 2001 at 66 FR 1033.

DATES: Effective Date: This interim rule is effective June 15, 2001.
    Comment Date: Written comments may be submitted sixty days from 
August 14, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments, in duplicate, to the H. Edward Odom, Chief, 
Legislation and Regulations Division, Visa Services, Department of 
State, Washington, DC 20522-0106; or e-mail: odomhe@state.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: H. Edward Odom, Chief, Legislation and 
Regulations Division, Visa Office, Room L603-C, SA-1, Department of 
State, Washington, DC 20520-0106, or phone (202) 663-1204; or e-mail: 
odomhe@state.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

What Is the Authority for Allowing or Prohibiting Transit Without 
Visa?

    Section 212(d)(4)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 
provides the authority for the Secretary of State, acting jointly with 
the Attorney General, to waive the passport and/or visa requirement for 
a nonimmigrant who is in immediate and continuous transit through the 
United States and is using a carrier that has entered into a Transit 
Without Visa (TWOV) Agreement as provided in INA 233(c).

Who Determines Which Countries Can Transit Without a Visa?

    Since TWOV does not involve the issuance of a visa, the 
Department's role in the day-to-day administration of the TWOV program 
is minimal. Therefore, the Department's regulation at 22 CFR 41.2(i), 
for the most part, is merely a restatement of the INS regulation on the 
same subject. The Department does become involved, however, in the 
designation of those countries whose citizens are ineligible to utilize 
the TWOV. The current regulation provides a list of ineligible 
countries.

Which Countries Are Removed From the List of Countries Whose 
Citizens Cannot TWOV?

    This rule removes Russia from the list of countries whose citizens 
cannot TWOV.

Why Is Russia Being Removed From the List of Countries Whose 
Citizens Cannot TWOV?

    The Department and the INS have reviewed again the current list of 
ineligible countries and have determined that Russia can be removed 
from the list. In making the decision to remove Russia from the list 
the agencies took into consideration, in addition to the criteria 
specified in the regulation, comments received which expressed concern 
about the commercial impact caused by placing Russia on the list. 
Specifically, the withdrawal of TWOV privileges for Russia would 
discourage travel by Russian nationals and thus would have a serious 
negative impact on airline and port-of-entry revenues.

What Other Amendments Are Being Made?

    In the interim regulation the entry for ``Serbia'' is amended to 
read ``Federal Republic of Yugoslavia''. On November 17, 2000, the 
United States recognized the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as an 
independent state. Therefore, the former reference to Serbia and 
Montenegro is now listed as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

[[Page 32541]]

Interim Rule

How Will the Department of State Amend Its Regulations?

    This rule and the INS rule published elsewhere in this issue amend 
the list of countries found at 22 CFR 41.2(i) whose citizens the 
Department and the INS have determined are not eligible for the transit 
without visa (TWOV) program.

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department is implementing this rule as an interim rule, with a 
60-day provision for post-promulgation public comments, based on the 
``good cause'' exceptions found at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 553(d)(3). 
Since this rule bestows a benefit for Russian nationals traveling to 
the U.S., the Department is implementing this rule immediately.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of State, in accordance with the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this regulation and, by 
approving it, certifies that this rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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 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.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement 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 significant adverse effects on 
competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on 
the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-
based companies in domestic and export markets.

Executive Order 12866

    Although this rule is promulgated in conjunction with the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service, a domestic agency, the 
Department of State does not consider this rule to be a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f) 
Regulatory Planning and Review. Therefore, in accordance with the 
letter to the Department of State of February 4, 1994 from the Director 
of Management and Budget, it does not require review by the Office of 
Management and Budget.

Executive Order 13132

    This regulation 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, it is determined that this rule does not have 
sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
federalism summary impact statement.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose any new reporting or record-keeping 
requirements. The information collection requirement (Form OF-156) 
contained by reference in this rule was previously approved for use by 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 41

    Aliens, Foreign officials, Passports and visas.

    In view of the foregoing, the Department amends 22 CFR as follows:

PART 41--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for 22 CFR part 41 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1104; Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 et. 
seq.

    2. Amend Sec. 41.2 by revising paragraph (i)(2) to read as follows:


Sec. 41.2  Waiver by Secretary of State and Attorney General of 
passport and/or visa requirements for certain categories of 
nonimmigrants.

* * * * *
    (i) * * *
    (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (i)(1) of this 
section, this waiver is not available to an alien who is a citizen of: 
Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burma, 
Burundi, Central African Republic, People's Republic of China, 
Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), India, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, North 
Korea, Pakistan,Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, or the Federal 
Republic of Yugoslavia.
* * * * *

    Dated: June 6, 2001.
Mary A. Ryan,
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 01-15051 Filed 6-14-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-P


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