[Federal Register: March 7, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 45)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
22 CFR Part 41
[Public Notice: 3938]
Documentation of Nonimmigrants Under the Immigration and
Nationality Act, as Amended: Automatic Visa Revalidation; Interim Rule
AGENCY: Department of State.
ACTION: Interim rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: Due to the need for greater security screening of visa
applicants, the Department is amending the provision for automatic
revalidation of expired visas for nonimmigrant aliens returning from
short visits to other North American countries or adjacent islands to
exclude from its benefits aliens who apply for new visas during such
visits and aliens who are nationals of countries identified as state
sponsors of terrorism.
DATES: This interim rule is effective on April 1, 2002. Written
comments must be received on or before May 6, 2002.
ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted, in duplicate, to the
Legislation and Regulations Division, Visa Services, Department of
State, Washington, DC 20520-0106, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth J. Harper, Legislation and
Regulations Division, Visa Services, Department of State, Washington,
DC 20520-0106, (202) 663-1221, e-mail (email@example.com) or fax at
What Is the Background for This Action?
Section 42.112(d) of 22 CFR provides for the automatic revalidation
of nonimmigrant visas of aliens who have been out of the United States
for less than 30 days in contiguous territory and have an Arrival-
Departure Record showing INS approval of an unexpired period of
admission. Such aliens may be applying for readmission in the same
classification or in a new classification authorized by the INS prior
to their departure. In the latter case, the revalidation includes a
conversion to the new classification. In the case of a qualified
student or exchange visitor who has a remaining period of authorized
stay, the not-more-than-30 day absence may have been in either
contiguous territory or adjacent islands other than Cuba.
Why Is This Action Being Taken With Respect to Applicants for New
In some cases, persons who are abroad during an absence of 30 days
or less in contiguous territory opt to apply for a new visa during that
absence in lieu of relying on an automatic revalidation. Due to the
need for greater security screening of visa applicants, which in some
cases may mean delays in the issuance of new visas, the Department of
State believes it is prudent to restrict the ability of such persons to
return to the United States prior to the completion of all such checks
and the issuance of a new visa.
Why Is it Being Taken With Regard to Visa Applicants From Countries
That Sponsor Terrorism?
In light of recent terrorist actions undertaken by aliens, some or
whom had entered the United States with nonimmigrant visas, it has
become clear that we cannot rely upon an assumption that a person who
obtained a visa for one reason still has only that reason for wishing
to return to the United States. We find a closer examination of certain
aliens seeking to enter or reenter the United States must be
undertaken. Thus, the Department finds the automatic revalidation of
nonimmigrant visas should no longer be available to individuals whose
home countries have been identified as sponsoring terrorism.
What Countries Have Been so Identified and Under What Authority?
Several laws require the Department to designate a foreign state as
one sponsoring terrorism. They are: Section 620A of the foreign
Assistance Act, Section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and Section
6(j) of the Export Administration Act. Consequently, the Department
periodically publishes a report, Patterns of Global Terrorism, updating
such designations. Currently, the designated countries are Iraq, Iran,
Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba.
Is This Intended To Be a Permanent Tightening of the Entry of
Visitors and Other Nonimmigrants?
We hope that the time will come when circumstances will permit the
restoration of this privilege to all bona fide nonimmigrants but we do
not anticipate that time being in the near future.
Regulatory Analysis and Notices
Administrative Procedure Act
The Department is publishing this rule as an interim rule, with a
60-day provision for post-promulgation public comments, based on the
``good cause'' exceptions set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and
553(d)(3). It is dictated by the recent terrorist attacks on the United
States and the necessity of additional controls over the entry of
aliens at this time.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
Pursuant to Sec. 605 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the
Department has assessed the potential impact of this rule, and the
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs hereby certifies that is not
expected to 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 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,
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 require consultations or warrant
the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.
Paperwork Reduction Act
This rule does not impose any new reporting or record-keeping
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter
List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 41
Aliens, Passports and visas.
Accordingly, the Department of State amends 22 CFR Chapter I as set
1. The authority citation for part 41 continues to read:
Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1104; 8 U.S.C. 1181, 1201, 1202; Pub. L.
105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 et seq.
2. Revise Sec. 41.112(d) to read as follows:
Sec. 41.112 Validity of visa.
* * * * *
(d) Automatic extension of validity at ports of entry. (1) Provided
that the requirements set out in paragraph (d)(2) of this section are
fully met, the following provisions apply to nonimmigrant aliens
seeking readmission at ports of entry:
(i) The validity of an expired nonimmigrant visa issued under INA
101(a)(15) may be considered to be automatically extended to the date
of application for readmission; and
(ii) In cases where the original nonimmigrant classification of an
alien has been changed by INS to another nonimmigrant classification,
the validity of an expired or unexpired nonimmigrant visa may be
considered to be automatically extended to the date of application for
readmission, and the visa may be converted as necessary to that changed
(2) The provisions in paragraph (d)(1) of this section are
applicable only in the case of a nonimmigrant alien who:
(i) Is in possession of a Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record,
endorsed by INS to show an unexpired period of initial admission or
extension of stay, or, in the case of a qualified F or J student or
exchange visitor or the accompanying spouse or child of such an alien,
is in possession of a current Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for
Nonimmigrant Student Status, or Form IAP-66, Certificate of Eligibility
for Exchange Visitor Status, issued by the school the student has been
authorized to attend by INS, or by the sponsor of the exchange program
in which the alien has been authorized to participate by INS, and
endorsed by the issuing school official or program sponsor to indicate
the period of initial admission or extension of stay authorized by INS;
(ii) Is applying for readmission after an absence not exceeding 30
days solely in contiguous territory, or, in the case of a student or
exchange visitor or accompanying spouse or child meeting the
stipulations of paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, after an absence
not exceeding 30 days in contiguous territory or adjacent islands other
(iii) Has maintained and intends to resume nonimmigrant status;
(iv) Is applying for readmission within the authorized period of
initial admission or extension of stay;
(v) Is in possession of a valid passport;
(vi) Does not require authorization for admission under INA
(vii) Has not applied for a new visa while abroad.
(3) The provisions in paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section
shall not apply to the nationals of countries identified as supporting
terrorism in the Department's annual report to Congress entitled
Patterns of Global Terrorism.
* * * * *
Dated: February 7, 2002.
Mary A. Ryan,
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-5325 Filed 3-6-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-P
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