[Federal Register: October 11, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 197)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
Rules and Regulations
This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed
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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Immigration and Naturalization Service
8 CFR Part 204
[INS No. 2106-00]
Special Immigrant Visas for Fourth Preference Employment-Based
AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.
ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.
SUMMARY: This interim rule amends the Immigration and Naturalization
Service's (Service) regulations by establishing the procedure under
which the International Broadcasting Bureau of the United States
Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), or a BBG grantee organization,
may file special fourth preference immigrant petitions for foreign
language alien broadcasters. This rule explains the requirements that
alien broadcasters must meet in order to be the beneficiary of an
immigrant visa petition. This regulatory change is necessary so that
the BBG can fulfill its statutory obligation to broadcast
internationally on behalf of the United States Government.
DATES: Effective date: This interim rule is effective November 13,
Comment date: Written comments must be submitted on or before
December 10, 2001.
ADDRESSES: Written comments must be submitted, in triplicate, to the
Director, Policy Directives and Instructions Branch, Immigration and
Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW., Room 4034, Washington, DC
20536. To ensure proper handling, please reference the INS number 2106-
00 on your correspondence. Comments are available for public inspection
at this location by calling (202) 514-3048 to arrange for an
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Howie, Business and Trade
Services Branch, Adjudications Division, Immigration and Naturalization
Service, 425 I Street, NW., Room 3040, Washington, DC 20536, telephone
Section 203 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act)
provides for the allocation of preference visas for both family and
employment-based immigrants. The fourth preference employment-based
category (EB-4) allows for the immigration of a variety of aliens who
possess various specialized job skills or abilities. See section
203(b)(4) of the Act. The Act at section 101(a)(27) also offers
definitions of the various jobs or professions that aliens must hold or
possess in order to qualify for the EB-4 category.
On November 22, 2000, the President approved enactment of the
Special Immigrant Status For Certain United States International
Broadcasting Employees Act (IBE Act), Public Law 106-536. Section 1 of
the IBE Act amends section 101(a)(27) of the Act by adding a new
subparagraph (M). The amendment establishes a special fourth preference
employment-based immigrant category for immigrants seeking to enter the
United States to work as a broadcaster in the United States for the BBG
or a BBG grantee. (Currently, BBG grantees are Radio Free Asia, Inc.,
and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.) This interim rule is
necessary to codify the provisions of the IBE Act and to put into place
procedures for the BBG, its grantees and Service officers to follow.
Why Does the BBG Need Alien Broadcasters?
The BBG and its grantees are charged by Congress to broadcast
internationally on behalf of the United States Government. This
requires that the BBG attract and retain a large number of foreign
language broadcasters. These broadcasters must have the unique
combination of native fluency in the broadcast language combined with
an in-depth knowledge of the people, history, and culture of the
broadcast area. Historically, the BBG has experienced difficulty in
finding and employing members of the domestic workforce possessing this
unusual combination of skills to meet the United States Government's
international broadcasting needs.
By creating a new special EB-4 category, the IBE Act allows the BBG
to directly petition for alien broadcasters. Being able to offer
immigrant status to an alien broadcaster and his or her spouse and
children may assist the BBG in fulfilling its obligation as the
international broadcasting conduit for the United States Government.
Is There a Limit to the Number of Visas That May Be Issued to Alien
Broadcasters Petitioned for by the BBG or Its Grantees?
Yes, the IBE Act plainly stipulates a yearly limit of 100 visas
available to the BBG and its grantees for alien broadcasters. The
accompanying spouse and children of alien broadcasters are not counted
towards this yearly limit. See section 203(b)(4) of the Act.
How Does the Service Define the Term ``Broadcaster?''
In order for the BBG and its grantees to meet their Congressional
charge of broadcasting internationally on behalf of the United States
Government, the Service consulted with the BBG to identify what
positions within the BBG or its grantees fall under the term
``broadcaster.'' To that end, this rule describes the term
``broadcaster'' as encompassing: reporters, writers, translators,
editors, producers or announcers for news broadcasts; hosts for news
broadcasts, news analysis, editorial and other broadcast features; or
news analysis specialists. Technicians and other support personnel are
not included in the definition since such positions do not call for the
skills that prompted the new special immigrant category to be created.
See 8 CFR 204.13(a).
What Form Should the BBG or a BBG Grantee Use To Petition for
Qualified Alien Broadcasters and What Evidence Should Be Submitted?
Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant
has been designated as the appropriate petition for other fourth
preference employment-based immigrant
categories. The BBG and its grantees shall also use Form I-360 to
petition for EB-4 alien broadcasters. See 8 CFR 204.13(c).
In addition to the information required on Form I-360, the interim
rule at 8 CFR 204.13(d) requires the BBG or its grantee to submit an
attestation that reflects the job title and a full description of the
job to be performed and the experience held by the alien broadcaster,
including the number of years, if any, the alien has been performing
the duties that relate to the prospective position.
Request for Comments
The Service is seeking public comments regarding all aspects of
this interim rule. The Service welcomes suggestions concerning the
information contained within this interim rule.
Good Cause Exception
The Service's implementation of this rule as an interim rule, with
provisions for post-promulgation public comments, is based on the
``good cause'' exceptions found at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and (d)(3). The
reason and necessity for immediate implementation of this interim rule
without prior notice and comment is that the new legislation became
effective retroactive to enactment (October 1, 2000), and thus
immediately requires the Service to establish a petitioning procedure
for this new category of fourth preference employment-based immigrants.
Issuing an interim rule allows the regulatory provisions to become
effective and allows the BBG and its grantees to begin taking advantage
of the new provisions without delay.
The Service notes that the BBG has been consulted and has been
provided draft versions of this interim rule for review and comment.
Comments and suggestions from this Government entity have been included
in this rulemaking. The Service also notes that the amendment is clear
that the BBG and its grantees are the only organizations that are
eligible to take advantage of this new category of special employment-
based immigrants. They are the only organizations that will be able to
petition for this category of broadcasters.
The Commissioner has determined that because this rule establishes
an immigrant preference category that only the BBG (an independent and
autonomous Federal entity) can use, that public comment is unnecessary.
Further, because the BBG broadcasts internationally on behalf of the
United States, it would be contrary to the public interest to delay
allowing the BBG to use this new congressionally-established preference
category to more effectively carry out its public mission. Therefore,
there is good cause for dispensing with the requirements of prior
notice. However, the Service welcomes public comment on this interim
rule and will address those comments prior to issuance of the final
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in
accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has
reviewed this regulation and, by approving it, certifies that the rule
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of
small entities. This interim rule provides a special process that
benefits individuals who will be coming to the United States to work as
broadcasters. It does not affect small entities as that term is defined
in 5 U.S.C. 601(6).
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
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
This rule is not considered by the Department of Justice,
Immigration and Naturalization Service, to be a ``significant
regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f),
Regulatory Planning and Review. Accordingly, the Office of Management
and Budget has waived its review process under section 6(a)(3)(A).
Executive Order 13132
This 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, it is determined that this rule does not have
sufficient Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a
federalism summary impact statement.
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.
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
The supplemental evidence requirements contained in Sec. 204.13(d)
that must be submitted with the Form I-360 are considered information
collections. Since this interim rule is effective 30 days from the date
of publication in the Federal Register, the Service is using emergency
review procedures for review and clearance by the Office of Management
and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)
The OMB approval has been requested by October 26, 2001. If
granted, the emergency approval is only valid for 180 days. Comments
concerning the information collection should be directed to: Office of
Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB Desk Officer for the
Immigration and Naturalization Service, Office of Management and
Budget, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503.
During the first 60 days of this same period a regular review of
this information will also be undertaken. Written comments are
encouraged and will be accepted until December 10, 2001. Your comments
should address one or more of the following points:
(1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency,
including whether the information will have practical utility;
(2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of
the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the
methodology and assumptions used;
(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to
be collected; and
(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those
are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated,
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic
submission of responses.
The Service, in calculating the overall burden this requirement
will place upon the public, notes that a maximum of 100 broadcasters
may petition for these EB-4 visas annually. The Service also estimates
that it will take broadcasters approximately 2 hours to comply with the
new requirements as noted in this interim rule. This amounts to 200
total burden hours.
Organizations and individuals interested in submitting comments
regarding this burden estimate or any aspect of this information
collection requirement, including suggestions for reducing the burden,
should direct them to: Immigration and Naturalization Service,
Director, Policy Directives and Instructions Branch, 425 I Street NW.,
Room 4034, Washington, DC 20536.
List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 204
Administrative practice and procedures, Aliens, Employment,
Accordingly, part 204 of chapter I of title 8 of the Code of
Federal Regulations is amended as follows:
PART 204--IMMIGRANT PETITIONS
1. The authority citation for part 204 continues to read as
Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103, 1151, 1153, 1154, 1182, 1186a,
1255, 1641; 8 CFR part 2.
2. Section 204.13 is added to read as follows:
Sec. 204.13 How can the International Broadcasting Bureau of the
United States Broadcasting Board of Governors petition for a fourth
preference special immigrant broadcaster?
(a) Which broadcasters qualify? Under section 203(b)(4) of the Act,
the International Broadcasting Bureau of the United States Broadcasting
Board of Governors (BBG), or a grantee of the BBG, may petition for an
alien (and the alien's accompanying spouse and children) to work as a
broadcaster for the BBG or a grantee of the BBG in the United States.
For the purposes of this section, the terms:
BBG grantee means Radio Free Asia, Inc (RFA) or Radio Free Europe/
Radio Liberty, Inc. (RFE/RL); and
Broadcaster means a reporter, writer, translator, editor, producer
or announcer for news broadcasts; hosts for news broadcasts, news
analysis, editorial and other broadcast features; or a news analysis
specialist. The term broadcaster does not include individuals
performing purely technical or support services for the BBG or a BBG
(b) Is there a yearly limit on the number of visas available for
alien broadcasters petitioned by the BBG or a BBG grantee?
(1) Under the provisions of section 203(b)(4) of the Act, a yearly
limit of 100 fourth preference special immigrant visas are available to
aliens intending to work as broadcasters in the United States for the
BBG or a BBG grantee. These 100 visas are available in any fiscal year
beginning on or after October 1, 2000.
(2) The alien broadcaster's accompanying spouse and children are
not counted towards the 100 special broadcaster visa limit.
(c) What form should the BBG use to petition for these special
alien broadcasters? The BBG or a BBG grantee shall use Form I-360,
Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, to petition
for an alien broadcaster. The petition must be submitted with the
correct fee noted on the form. All BBG petitions for alien broadcasters
shall be submitted to the Vermont Service Center for processing.
(d) Will the BBG need to submit supplemental evidence with Form I-
360 for alien broadcasters?
(1) All Form I-360 petitions submitted by the BBG or a BBG grantee
on behalf of an alien for a broadcaster position with the BBG or BBG
grantee must be accompanied by a signed and dated supplemental
attestation that contains the following information about the
prospective alien broadcaster:
(i) The job title and a full description of the job to be
(ii) The broadcasting expertise held by the alien, including how
long the alien has been performing duties that relate to the
prospective position or a statement as to how the alien possesses the
necessary skills that make him or her qualified for the broadcasting-
related position within the BBG or BBG grantee.
Dated: October 4, 2001.
James W. Ziglar,
Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service.
[FR Doc. 01-25478 Filed 10-10-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P
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