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

[Federal Register: October 16, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 200)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 52500-52502]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr16oc01-8]                         
=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 41

[Public Notice 3728]

Visas: Nonimmigrant Classes: Irish Peace Process Cultural and 
Training Program Visitors, Q Classification

AGENCY: Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State.

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY: This rule removes from the existing interim regulation on the 
issuance of visas in the Q-2 nonimmigrant visa category the 
requirements for qualification of a program participant in the Irish 
Peace Process Cultural and Training Program (IPPCTP) to be considered 
by the Program Administrator. It also adds new requirements pertaining 
to the content of the certification letter needed by an alien in order 
to obtain a visa in the Q-2 category as a participant in the IPPCTP. 
The existing interim regulation was published on March 17, 2000. The 
establishment and operation of the IPPCTP was originally published on 
March 17, 2000. That interim regulation is also being republished, with 
changes elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. These changes 
in the rule are being adopted as a result of a review of the IPPCTP 
conducted by the Departments of State and Justice during the program's 
initial program year. The changes are intended to distinguish the 
responsibilities of consular from those of the Program Administration 
of the IPPCTP.

DATES: Effective Date: This interim rule takes effect on October 16, 
2001.
    Comment Date: The Department will accept written comments which 
must be received no later than December 17, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted, in duplicate, to H. 
Edward Odom, Chief, Legislation and Regulations Division, Visa Office, 
Room L603-C, SA-1, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-0106.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

What Information Is Being Removed from the Q-2 Regulation in Part 
41 and Why?

    The current regulation pertaining to the Q-2 nonimmigrant visa 
category is found at 22 CFR 41.57(b). The Department published this 
rule as an interim final rule with a 60-day period for public comment 
(65 FR 14768, March 17, 2000). There were no comments received from the 
public regarding the interim rule. Nevertheless, the Department is 
making some changes to the interim rule following an interagency review 
of the IPPCTP during its initial program year. The rule as originally 
written contained a description of the factual elements that an alien 
applicant for the IPPCTP must

[[Page 52501]]

establish to the satisfaction of the Program Administrator. However, 
because the determination of those elements is, in the first instance, 
a responsibility of the Program Administrator under authority delegated 
to the Administrator by the Department of State, the elements should 
instead be described in the regulation relating to the structure and 
operation of the IPPCTP. Therefore, they are being removed from this 
regulation pertaining to visa issuance and appear in a separate notice 
that describes structure and operation of the program itself.

What Information Is Being Added to the Q-2 Regulation in Part 41 
and Why?

    Under the IPPCTP, participants may be selected either from among 
unemployed persons or from among employed persons whose employers wish 
them to participate in the IPPCTP in order to receive additional 
training to enhance their existing job skills. Requirements for 
participation of the latter group in the IPPCTP were still being 
considered at the time of the publication of the existing interim rule. 
Therefore the list of requirements contained in the interim rule for 
information to be provided in the certification letter did not 
adequately reflect the information required for this group of 
participants. The additional requirements for participation of an 
already employed person in the IPPCTP have now been determined and will 
be reflected in the requirements for the certification letter by 
addition of the current employer's name and the interagency group 
formulating the IPPCTP has determined that the necessary physical 
residence in Northern Ireland or in a qualifying county of the Republic 
of Ireland required for participation in the program should be counted 
backward from the date of the issuance of the letter that certifies the 
acceptance of the alien into the program. Therefore, that change is 
also reflected in the portion of the regulation that describes the 
requirements for the content of the certification letter.

Will Any Other Changes Be Made to the Interim Regulation?

    The Department is making one other small change to the interim 
rule. Section 41.57(b)(ii) will be revised to indicate that the 
certification letter required as evidence of an alien's acceptance into 
the IPPCTP will ``establish'' rather than simply ``state'' the alien's 
qualifications for the program. This will more accurately reflect the 
fact that the Program Administrator has verified such qualifications 
and is certifying them to the Department and to immigration and 
consular officers.

Interim Rule

How Is the Department of State Amending Its Regulations?

    In this rule the Department is amending 22 CFR 41.57, in part, by 
removing part of the existing text relating to the requirements for the 
Q-2 Program Administrator in issuing the certification letter for the 
purpose of qualifying an alien for participation in the IPPCTP. The 
Department is publishing this rule in conjunction with a companion rule 
at 22 CFR 139 in which more accurately reflecting the administrative 
authorities relevant to implementation of the IPPCTP. The interim rule 
on the establishment and operation of IPPCTP was published originally 
at 65 FR 14764, March 17, 2000. The Department is also amending 22 CFR 
41.57 by adding to the required content of the program certification 
letter certain information related to the employment in Ireland or 
Northern Ireland or already employed program participants. The rule 
establishes the issuance date of the certification letter as the date 
prior to which the length of physical residence of the applicant 
letter, and by changing the language regarding the certification letter 
to reflect the fact that the Program Administrator has established the 
alien's qualifications for participation in the IPPCTP.

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department's implementation of this regulation as an interim 
rule, with a provision for public comments, is based upon the ``good 
cause'' exceptions found at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and (d)(3). The 
Department decided that there was not enough time to issue a proposed 
rule with request for comments as the Irish Peace Process Cultural and 
Training Program is limited by law to a period that has already begun 
(FY 2000 through FY 2005, i.e., October 1, 1999 through September 30, 
2005). Publication of this regulation as an interim rule will expedite 
implementation of Public Law 105-319 that this already in effect and 
allow eligible aliens to apply for an participate in this program as 
soon as possible in light of the statutory expiration of the program on 
October 1, 2005.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of State, in accordance with the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b), has review this regulation and, by 
approving it, certifies that the rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
Participation in the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program 
Act of 1998 is limited to 4,000 individuals annually for three 
consecutive years. The activities of the participants in the United 
States will take place in various locations and in a number of sectors 
of the economy so that no significant economic impact should occur.

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

    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 the Office 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.

[[Page 52502]]

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule involves the collection of information subject to the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 by means of two information collections 
that have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget. The 
first is OMB # 1405-0018, Nonimmigrant Visa Application; the second is 
OMB # 1405-0124, Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program 
(IPPCTP) Employer Information Collection.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 41

    Aliens, Foreign officials, Passports and visas, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Students.

    Accordingly, amend 22 CFR part 41 as follows:

PART 41--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for Part 41 continues to read as follows:

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

    2. Amend 41.57 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:

Sec. 41.57  International cultural exchange visitors and visitors under 
the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act (IPPCTPA).

* * * * *
    (b) Trainees under INA section 101(a)(15)(Q)(ii)--(1) Requirements 
for classification under INA section 101(a)(15)(Q)(ii). A consular 
officer may classify an alien under the provisions of INA section 
101(a)(15)(Q)(ii) if:
    (i) The consular officer is satisfied that the alien qualifies 
under the provisions of that section;
    (ii) The consular officer has received a certification letter 
prepared by a program administration charged by the Department of State 
in consultation with the Department of Justice with the operation of 
the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program (IPPCTP) which 
establishes at a minimum:
    (A) The name of the alien's employer in the United States, and, if 
applicable, in Ireland or Northern Ireland;
    (B) If the alien is participating in the IPPCTP as an unemployed 
alien, that the employment in the United States is in an occupation 
designated by the employment and training administration of the alien's 
place of residence as being most beneficial to the local economy;
    (C) That the program administrator has accepted the alien into the 
program;
    (D) That the alien has been physically resident in Northern Ireland 
or in the counties of Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo, and 
Donegal in the Republic of Ireland and the length of time immediately 
prior to the issuance of the letter that the alien has claimed such 
place as his or her residence;
    (E) The alien's date and place of birth;
    (F) If the alien is participating in the IPPCTP as an already 
employed participant, the length of time immediately prior to the 
issuance of the letter that the alien has been employed by an employer 
in the alien's place of physical residence;
    (iii) If applicable, the consular officer is satisfied the alien is 
the spouse or child of an alien classified under INA section 
101(a)(15)(Q)(ii), and is accompanying or following to join the 
principal alien.
    (2) Aliens not entitled to such classification. The consular 
officer must suspend action on the alien's application and notify the 
alien and the designated program administrator described in paragraph 
(b)(1)(ii) of this section if the consular officer knows or has reason 
to believe that an alien does not qualify under INA section 
101(a)(15)(Q)(ii).


    Dated: July 23, 2001.
Mary A. Ryan,
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 01-25597 Filed 10-15-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-P


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