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[Federal Register: September 25, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 186)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 60107-60112]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr25se02-1]                         


========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 
Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each 
week.

========================================================================



[[Page 60107]]



DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

8 CFR Parts 103 and 214

[INS No. 2217-02]
RIN 1115-AG71

 
Requiring Certification of all Service Approved Schools for 
Enrollment in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System 
(SEVIS)

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Interim rule with requests for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This rule will amend the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service (Service) regulations governing review and certification of 
Service approved schools and will continue the implementation of the 
process by which schools may be approved to obtain access to the 
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). On October 30, 
2001, the President issued Homeland Security Directive No. 2 (Directive 
2) requiring the Service to conduct periodic reviews of all 
institutions certified to receive nonimmigrant students. The Enhanced 
Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, Public Law 107-173 
(Border Security Act), enacted May 14, 2002, also requires a periodic 
review of school approval. While the Service has an existing process 
for certifying and decertifying schools, the Service is requiring that 
all schools must apply for certification, in accordance with these new 
mandates, prior to being allowed to enroll in SEVIS.

DATES: Effective date. This interim rule is effective September 25, 
2002.
    Comment date. Comments must be submitted on or before November 25, 
2002.

ADDRESSES: Please submit written comments to the Director, Regulations 
and Forms Services Division, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 
425 I Street, NW, Room 4034, Washington, DC 20536. To ensure proper 
handling, please reference INS No. 2217-02 on your correspondence. 
Comments may also be submitted electronically to the Service at 
insregs@usdoj.gov. When submitting comments electronically, you must 
include INS No. 2217-02 in the subject heading so that your comments 
can be routed to the appropriate program office. Comments may be 
inspected at the above address by calling (202) 514-3291 to arrange for 
an appointment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maura Deadrick, Immigration and 
Naturalization Service, 425 I Street NW, Washington DC 20536, telephone 
number (202) 514-3228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Section 101(a)(15)(F)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
(Act) establishes the F nonimmigrant visa classification for foreign 
students who wish to come to the United States temporarily to attend an 
academic or language training institution. Section 101(a)(15)(M)(i) of 
the Act establishes the M nonimmigrant visa classification for foreign 
students who wish to come to the United States temporarily to attend a 
vocational education institution. An F or M nonimmigrant student may 
enroll in a particular school only if the Attorney General has approved 
the school for the attendance of F and M nonimmigrants. The Service 
exercises the Attorney General's authority to approve, or withdraw the 
approval of, schools that desire to admit F and M nonimmigrant 
students. The current regulations are codified in 8 CFR 214.3 and 
214.4.
    On October 30, 2001, the President issued Homeland Security 
Directive No. 2 (Directive 2) requiring the Service to conduct periodic 
reviews of all institutions approved to accept nonimmigrant students.
    More recently, section 502 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa 
Entry Reform Act of 2002 (Border Security Act), Public Law 107-173, 
enacted May 14, 2002, requires the Service to review all schools 
approved by the Service for attendance by F or M nonimmigrant students 
within 2 years of the passage of the Border Security Act. The Border 
Security Act also requires the Service to conduct periodic reviews of 
the approval of schools every 2 years thereafter.
    The Service's proposed SEVIS implementation rule, 67 FR 34862 (May 
16, 2002), establishes the regulatory framework for SEVIS and provides 
that the use of SEVIS will become mandatory for all schools on a 
mandatory compliance date of January 30, 2003. Once the final SEVIS 
implementation rule is adopted, and the mandatory compliance date is 
reached, all Service-approved schools will be required to use SEVIS for 
the admission of new students and for the issuance of new forms for 
existing students. Once a school is approved and enrolled in SEVIS, it 
must issue Forms I-20 for all newly enrolled students from SEVIS. 
Furthermore, if a current student needs a new Form I-20 the school must 
enter the student into SEVIS at that time in order to issue a SEVIS 
Form I-20. The school may enter all of its current students prior to 
January 30, 2003 if it so desires, but is not required to do so. 
Following the mandatory compliance date, all new incoming foreign 
students must be entered into SEVIS. Schools must enter all current or 
continuing students, into SEVIS by the end of the next academic cycle. 
For example, in a semester academic calendar if a current student is 
returning for a 2003 summer session, as that would most likely be the 
next academic cycle, that student must be entered into SEVIS in order 
to verify current enrollment. Another example might be if the student 
is within a quarter academic calendar, the 2003 spring quarter would be 
when that student must be entered into SEVIS.
    To facilitate the review of all Service-approved schools and to 
ensure the enrollment of all eligible schools in SEVIS in a timely 
manner, the Service has implemented a two-phased process for school 
review and SEVIS enrollment.
    Phase I was a preliminary enrollment period for certain currently 
accredited schools. 67 FR 44344 (July 1, 2002). Eligible schools who 
applied during the preliminary enrollment period were granted 
preliminary access to SEVIS prior to paying the full certification fee 
or submitting to a full certification review. Preliminary enrollment 
began

[[Page 60108]]

on July 1, 2002, and closed with the publication of this rule, as 
provided in 8 CFR 214.12(b). Those schools that have electronically 
submitted a Form I-17 in SEVIS, under preliminary enrollment as 
provided in 8 CFR 214.12 prior to September 25, 2002, will be 
adjudicated in accordance with the preliminary enrollment requirements. 
Schools that have begun to fill out Form I-17 in SEVIS and saved the 
form as a draft, but who have not electronically submitted the form in 
SEVIS prior to September 25, 2002, will be required to pay the 
certification fee prior to certification in SEVIS in accordance with 
this rule.
    This interim rule implements Phase II of the transition to SEVIS 
and provides that all schools not already approved to use SEVIS--
including a school that would have been eligible for preliminary 
enrollment under 8 CFR 214.12 but did not apply for preliminary 
enrollment--must undergo a certification review, and pay the associated 
fee, prior to enrollment in SEVIS.
    This rule implements Directive 2 and the Border Security Act by 
requiring each school that is currently approved for attendance by F 
and M nonimmigrants to undergo a review by the Service for approval in 
SEVIS no later than the SEVIS mandatory compliance date. This 
opportunity to review currently-approved schools will help ensure the 
integrity of the SEVIS program.

Petition for Initial Approval for Use of SEVIS

    The school should begin the review process by accessing the SEVIS 
Web site at www.ins.usdoj.gov/sevis. By entering the basic contact 
information required, the school official that will be filing the 
petition for access to SEVIS will be issued a temporary user ID and 
password for SEVIS. Using this ID and password, the school official 
will access SEVIS on-line and complete and electronically submit the 
Form I-17 and the required fee.
    In order to be reviewed by the Service and be granted access to 
SEVIS prior to the mandatory compliance date, schools are strongly 
encouraged to submit an electronic Form I-17 to the Service using SEVIS 
no less than 75 days prior to the compliance deadline. The Service 
cannot guarantee timely final action on any Form I-17 petition not 
filed at least 75 days prior to the SEVIS mandatory compliance 
deadline. In general, Forms I-17 will be adjudicated in a timely manner 
within 6 months of filing in accordance with the Service's backlog 
reduction plan. A school that has a Form I-17 pending adjudication in 
SEVIS after the mandatory compliance date will be unable to issue Forms 
I-20 until approved and granted SEVIS access.
    A school's approval will be automatically withdrawn as of the day 
following the SEVIS mandatory compliance date if the school has not 
submitted an electronic Form I-17 to initiate the certification review 
process by then. If a school's approval is withdrawn, the school may 
not issue any Forms I-20 for new F or M nonimmigrant students. 
Currently enrolled students must transfer to a different Service-
approved school no later than the next semester, quarter, trimester or 
other academic term.

Review of Petitions for Initial Certification and Enrollment in SEVIS

    The current regulations, in 8 CFR 214.3, provide for a paper-based 
application process, in which the school seeking Service approval must 
submit a paper Form I-17 together with specific forms of documentation. 
The evidentiary requirements are currently contained in 8 CFR 214.3(b) 
and (c) and the instructions on Form I-17. With the advent of 
electronic filing of the Form I-17, the school will not be required to 
present the accompanying documentation until the time of the on-site 
visit, as discussed below.
    The purpose of certification review under this rule is two-fold: 
both to establish the bona fides of the school with regard to its 
educational or vocational programs, and also to review the adequacy of 
the school's past and current efforts to comply with the existing 
requirements governing foreign students. The Service recognizes that 
many schools are already accredited by educational organizations 
recognized by the Department of Education, or are approved by state 
education agencies. Accordingly, the Service will coordinate with the 
Department of Education and other appropriate education agencies 
regarding the documentation needed to establish the bona fides of such 
schools. However, neither the Department of Education nor other 
education agencies currently maintain information regarding the 
compliance of each school with the existing requirements of the 
Service's regulations governing foreign students. Accordingly, the 
Service will still need to conduct a certification review for such 
schools to determine the adequacy of the school's compliance with the 
foreign student requirements. The Service will review and adjudicate 
the electronic Form I-17, as supplemented by the results of the 
completed on-site visit. During the on-site visit any signatures or 
supporting documentation will be collected and will be provided to the 
Service with the on-site report. Schools will receive notice of full 
certification approval, denial, or request for evidence via a SEVIS-
generated electronic mail.
    If a Service Officer requires clarification, updated documentation 
or further evidence to properly adjudicate the Form I-17, a request for 
evidence will be issued. Schools will receive notice of a request for 
evidence via a SEVIS-generated electronic mail, which will identify 
specific information or clarification the Service requires.
    Approved schools will be enrolled in SEVIS and the Designated 
School Officials (DSO) listed on the electronic Form I-17 will be 
issued permanent user ID and passwords. If denied, the petitioner will 
receive e-mail notification through SEVIS and written notification from 
the Service.
    If a school is denied certification, the school will receive 
written notice of the reasons for the denial and of the process for 
seeking review of such denial. The Service intends to issue a notice of 
proposed rulemaking in the near future to revise the withdrawal and 
appeal processes for schools in the foreign student program.

On-Site Reviews

    This rule provides for an on-site visit as part of the 
certification. At the time of the on-site review, the school will be 
able to present supporting documentation evidencing its eligibility for 
Service approval.
    The Service will determine by risk analysis the order in which 
schools will undergo an on-site review. All vocational (M) schools, 
flight schools, and language schools will be required to complete an 
on-site review before the Service will allow them to enroll in SEVIS. 
However, upon the discretion of the Service, the Service may allow 
conditional enrollment in SEVIS for accredited schools or for public 
secondary schools, prior to an on-site visit. Such schools will still 
be required to pay the associated on-site review fee when filing their 
Form I-17. If the Service does conditionally enroll schools in SEVIS, 
prior to an on-site visit, those schools will be subject to the full-
scale review and on-site visit at a later date. The Service may request 
certain supporting information from schools in making a determination 
for conditional enrollment. Schools granted conditional enrollment may 
ultimately be denied certification based upon the results of the on-
site review.
    In general, all schools need to establish that they are bona fide

[[Page 60109]]

institutions of learning with the financial ability to remain a viable 
institution. The Service will utilize Department of Education 
information, as appropriate, to assist in the verification of the 
school's bona fides. The required supporting documentation is specific 
to the type of school petitioning. The evidentiary requirements are 
currently contained in 8 CFR 214.3(b) and (c) and in the instructions 
on the Form I-17. More detailed information and examples of the 
evidentiary documentation that the Service will accept from each school 
type will be made available on the Service's website.
    Upon review of the findings of the on-site visit and any supporting 
documentation, a Service officer will determine the school's 
eligibility for approval. If the school was required to undergo the 
certification review, including an on-site visit, prior to enrollment 
in SEVIS, the school will be enrolled in SEVIS if approved. Schools 
that were approved for preliminary enrollment by the Service under 8 
CFR 214.12, or that are conditionally enrolled in SEVIS under the 
Service's discretionary authority as provided in this rule under 8 CFR 
214.3(h)(2) without an on-site visit, must complete the full 
certification review process prior to May 14, 2004. Until an on-site 
visit is conducted, a school enrolled in SEVIS under preliminary 
enrollment or conditional enrollment will be permitted to operate in 
SEVIS. After an on-site visit is conducted and the review process is 
completed, if approved, the school will be fully certified and may 
continue in SEVIS. If, after the on-site visit, the Service denies full 
certification, the Service will send electronic notification through 
SEVIS to the school indicating the reasons for the denial and the 
process for seeking review of such denial.

Subsequent Certification Reviews Every 2 Years

    This interim rule only governs the initial process for 
certification of schools prior to enrollment in SEVIS (or, for schools 
previously approved for preliminary enrollment in SEVIS pursuant to 8 
CFR 214.12, for initial certification prior to May 2004). However, both 
Directive 2 and the Border Security Act require the Service to conduct 
periodic reviews of all Service-approved schools. Accordingly, every 
school that completes the certification process under this rule must be 
reviewed every 2 years thereafter. This is a departure from the current 
practice, in which a school's approval continues indefinitely, unless 
the Service affirmatively withdraws the approval. For this reason, the 
Service is striking the provision in 8 CFR 214.3(e)(2) relating to 
indefinite approval and inserting a reference to clarify that schools 
must be approved every two years.
    At this time, this rule simply amends 8 CFR 214.3(h) to note that 
the Border Security Act requires a review of all approved schools every 
2 years. The Service will implement, in a separate rulemaking 
proceeding, more specific procedures for schools to apply for a 
subsequent certification review--after having completed the initial 
certification process under this rule.

Fee for the Initial Filing of Form I-17

    As the Service will be requiring on-site reviews prior to the 
initial approval of Form I-17, a new fee is necessary to support the 
review. The new fee includes the current internal Service cost, $230, 
for the review of the Form I-17, as well as the cost of the on-site 
review, $350, for a total of $580.
    The primary difference between the Internet system and the paper 
system is how the school submits Form I-17. Instead of the current, 
paper-based process of the school having to request the form, fill out 
the form, and mail to the Service, the school will now electronically 
complete and submit the form to the Service. As stated above, the $580 
fee includes both the base cost of processing of the Form I-17 and the 
on-site visit. In addition, the cost of the on-site review must be paid 
for each additional campus listed on the Form I-17B, with the exception 
of secondary public school systems. The per-campus cost is due to the 
fact that each campus will be subject to an on-site review. For 
instance, if School X, when submitting the Form I-17, lists two 
additional campuses, the total fee paid by School X is $1280 ($580 + 
$350 + $350). Instructions for electronic payment of the fee will be 
included on the Internet for schools when applying for review and 
enrollment in SEVIS.

Calculation of the New Fee

    Federal guidelines require the Service to establish and collect 
application fees to recover the full cost of providing immigration and 
naturalization services, rather than supporting these services with tax 
revenue. This rule requires all schools not already approved to use 
SEVIS to pay the certification fee prior to certification in SEVIS. If 
a school pays this fee and is granted enrollment in SEVIS prior to the 
on-site review, the school will not be required to pay the fee again at 
the time of that on-site review. All schools must pay the same 
certification fee.
    The fee for initial certification is $580. A certification fee also 
will be charged for each subsequent 2-year re-certification. While the 
fee will be re-visited every 2 years to assure that the Service is 
charging no more and no less than the full costs of the school review, 
the Service anticipates a fee for re-certification that is comparable 
to the initial certification fee.
    This fee is based on the internal Service cost, $230, plus the 
average cost of a required site visit to the school to perform a 
compliance verification, $350. The $230 internal Service cost was 
established previously and is not changed by this interim rule. See 66 
FR 65811 (December 21, 2001).
    The additional $350 cost for an on-site visit and compliance 
verification was calculated, and procurement strategy formulated, as 
follows: The Service will hire contractors to make the site visits and 
produce standard reports for the Service to consider before approving 
any school's use of SEVIS. The Service intends to award multiple 
contracts to ensure that there is enough capacity to handle a large 
number of school applicants.
    In early June 2002, the Service issued a request for proposals to 
six vendors who have ``schedule contracts'' with the General Services 
Administration (GSA) and are available to perform services of this type 
for federal departments and agencies. The GSA requires agencies to 
request proposals from at least three vendors before entering an 
agreement with a vendor for services, but in this case the Service 
elected to solicit proposals from six vendors. The statement of work 
for the vendors describes the type of site visits required. Site visits 
will include collection of supporting documentation submitted by the 
school, a tour of the campus, an interview with school officials, and a 
review of selected school records relating to the school's compliance 
with applicable standards under 8 CFR 214.3. The statement of work also 
includes a template to be used on site by the vendor to collect the 
above mentioned information and prepare a report. In order to expedite 
the certification process, vendors will be required to deliver these 
reports to the Service within 10 working days from the time that the 
site visit is requested. The information in this report will assist the 
Service in verifying both the bona fides of the school and, in the case 
of currently approved schools, the continued compliance with 
recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Each vendor is required

[[Page 60110]]

to have a nationwide network of qualified and trustworthy employees 
available to perform these site visits. On this basis, five vendors 
submitted proposals to the Service to perform these services, with a 
fixed price per on-site review.
    The Service derived the on-site review portion of the fee by taking 
the three lowest-priced proposals and taking the average of their fixed 
prices proposed for the first 2 years of the contract. The Service did 
not take the lowest bid with one contractor, because using only one 
contractor would not provide sufficient assurance that a large number 
of reviews could be completed within a short period of time and with 
the level of quality that is required. The Service also did not give 
preferential weight to any one bid when calculating this average cost 
because the Service cannot anticipate the geographic or numerical 
capacity, quality, or timeliness of any one vendor. The Service 
believes that this method will take advantage of the economies offered 
by competitive pricing, without sacrificing quality or capacity to 
conduct a large number of on-site reviews during a short period of 
time. In addition, the calculation excluded the highest bid proposed 
because the Service believes that three vendors should be sufficient. 
The calculation excluded years 3 through 5 of the vendor proposals 
because Federal guidelines require the Service to reconsider all fees 
on a 2 year cycle. Therefore, the Service will review the 
certification/re-certification fee in 2 years to ensure that it is 
charging no more and no less than the full costs of providing this 
service.

Certification Fee for Public Schools

    While the current regulations at 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) exempt all 
publicly owned or operated institutions from the payment of the Form I-
17 fee, because the Service will be conducting an on-site review of all 
approved schools every 2 years, as well as for any schools applying for 
initial approval, a fee payment is now necessary to fund this 
comprehensive plan for review. Although public schools were 
historically exempt from the Form I-17 adjudication fee, there is no 
adequate basis to continue such an exemption. The Service incurs 
processing and internal review costs for adjudicating any Form I-17, 
regardless of whether a school is a public or private institution.
    A public secondary school or school system owned or operated as a 
public educational institution or system by the United States or a 
state or political subdivision thereof is required to pay only the $580 
fee for the entire school system, and not an additional fee for each 
school within that system. However, public, postsecondary schools with 
more than one campus must pay a fee for each school or campus.

Initial Form I-17 Petitions for School Approval That Were Filed by 
Schools Prior to September 25, 2002, But Have Not Yet Been Adjudicated

    A school that filed an initial petition for school approval, Form 
I-17, with the Service, but not via SEVIS under preliminary enrollment, 
prior to September 25, 2002, and whose petition is still pending 
approval before the Service on that date, has two options.
    The Service will contact the school to determine whether the school 
would like to re-file the Form I-17 electronically through SEVIS. If 
the school does intend to re-file electronically, the school would be 
required to undergo a full-scale review, including an on-site visit 
prior to being granted enrollment in SEVIS. The school would not have 
to pay the internal Service cost portion of the Form I-17 processing 
fee, $230, as it paid that portion of the fee at the time of filing the 
original Form I-17. However, as such a school would still have to 
undergo an on-site review, the school would be required to pay the cost 
of that review, $350 per campus. This additional fee would be paid as 
part of the electronic Form I-17 submission process.
    If the school informs the Service that it does not wish to re-file 
in SEVIS, the Service will review and adjudicate the paper Form I-17 
petition as submitted. If it wishes to enroll foreign students after 
the mandatory compliance date, such a school must still apply for 
certification in SEVIS, pay the full amount of the certification fee, 
and undergo a full scale review in accordance with this rule if it 
wishes to enroll foreign students after the mandatory compliance date.
    All schools will be required to submit a Form I-17 electronically 
in SEVIS. One of the primary purposes of SEVIS is to transition to 
electronic filing and reporting. As an e-Gov system, SEVIS requires 
additional information that was not required in the older, paper-based, 
process, such as e-mail addresses. However, once a school has entered 
their Form I-17 electronically and been approved, the Service believes 
that utilizing SEVIS will reduce the school's burden, for example, by 
facilitating certain updates to the Form I-17 directly via SEVIS. 
Accordingly, schools must enter their own data into SEVIS.

Good Cause Exception

    This rule is effective on publication in the Federal Register. The 
Service finds that good cause exists both for adopting this rule 
without the prior notice and comment period ordinarily required by 5 
U.S.C. 553, and for making this rule immediately effective, rather than 
having it enter into force 30 days after publication. The USA PATRIOT 
Act, Public Law 107-56, mandates that SEVIS be fully implemented prior 
to January 1, 2003. Further, the Border Security Act requires the 
Service to review all schools within 2 years of its enactment. In order 
to meet the mandate for complete functionality of SEVIS while ensuring 
the integrity of data in SEVIS, a timely review of all schools is 
necessary prior to allowing a school to access SEVIS. Additionally, the 
provision for review of all approved schools is an important part of 
helping to safeguard against the abuse of the traditional American 
openness to foreign students by foreign terrorists. Because of the 
vital national security concerns that underpin Directive No. 2, the USA 
PATRIOT Act, and the Border Security Act, it would be contrary to the 
public interest to observe the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 533(b) and (d).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Commissioner, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 605(b), has reviewed 
this regulation and, by approving it, certifies that although this rule 
will have an economic impact on schools, the impact should not be 
significant since the $580 is not a substantial amount when considered 
in relation to the revenue generated by schools during the fiscal year. 
This money can easily be recouped through student fees or slight budget 
adjustments. Additionally, the information a school must submit is 
information that should be readily available to the school. Thus, any 
economic impact will not be ``significant.''
    The fee is calculated based on the cost of conducting on-site 
visits, compliance verification, and staffing requirements.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Section 502 of the Enhanced Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 
2002, Public Law 107-173, dated March 14, 2002, requires the Service to 
conduct a review of the institutions certified to receive nonimmigrants 
under section 101(a)(15) (F) or (M) of the Act on a recurring 2-year 
basis. Although the Service will be charging a fee (to recover the cost 
of certification), and the fee will have an impact on State public

[[Page 60111]]

secondary schools and State universities, the Service has drafted the 
regulation to reduce the impact. For example, in the State of Virginia, 
the Fairfax County Public School system has 24 public high schools yet 
the Service would only require that the county pay a fee of $580 
instead of $13,920 ($580 x 24 schools). Although the formula would be 
different for State universities that would require that they pay the 
$580 fee for each campus, the State universities would more than recoup 
the cost in the tuition they charge students. The Service estimates 
that the total cost every two years for the certification of all 
schools (including State universities and public secondary schools) 
covered under this rule will be $8.7 million (15,000 schools including 
universities with multiple campuses x $580 = $8.7 million) plus 
$162,000 (time spent by the school to undergo a site visit review based 
on the number of respondents (15,000) x 65 minutes (1.08) per response 
x $10 (average hourly rate) = $162,000) equaling $8.9 million that is 
far below the $100 million threshold.
    Accordingly, the Service finds that this rule will not result in 
the expenditure by state, local or 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 effect 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

    This rule is 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, this regulation has been submitted to the Office 
of Management and Budget for review.

Executive Order 13132

    As discussed above, the fee charged by the Service to recover the 
cost of certification will have an impact on State public secondary 
schools and State universities. However, the Service has drafted the 
regulation to reduce the impact. In the case of public secondary 
schools, the Service will charge one fee per school system, not a fee 
for each school within that system. Additionally, although State 
universities will be charged a fee for each campus, such institutions 
can recoup the cost in the tuition they charge students. Accordingly, 
the Service finds that 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 information collection requirement to electronically enroll in 
SEVIS has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 
accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The OMB control number for 
this collection is 1115-0252.

List of Subjects

8 CFR Part 103

    Administrative practice and procedure, Authority delegations 
(Government agencies), Freedom of information, Privacy, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Surety bonds.

8 CFR Part 214

    Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Employment, Foreign 
officials, Health professions, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Students.

    Accordingly, chapter I of title 8 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations is amended as follows.

PART 103--POWERS AND DUTIES OF SERVICE OFFICERS; AVAILABILITY OF 
SERVICE RECORDS

    1. The authority citation for part 103 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552, 552a; 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1103, 1304, 1356; 
31 U.S.C. 9701; E.O. 12356, 47 FR 14874, 15557, 3 CFR, 1982 Comp., 
p. 166; 8 CFR part 2.

    2. Section 103.7(b)(1) is amended by revising the entry for ``Form 
I-I7'', to read as follows:


Sec.  103.7  Fees.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
* * * * *
    Form I-17. For filing a petition for school approval or 
recertification--$580 plus $350 per additional campus listed on Form I-
17B.
* * * * *

PART 214--NONIMMIGRANT CLASSES

    3. The authority citation for part 214 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101, 1101 note, 1103, 1182, 1184, 1186a, 
1187, 1221, 1281, 1282; sec. 643, Pub. L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-
708; Pub. L. 106-386, 114 Stat. 1477-1480; Section 141 of the 
Compacts of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia 
and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and with the Government of 
Palau, 48 U.S.C. 1901 note, and 1931 note, respectively; 8 CFR part 
2.


    4. Section 214.3 is amended by:
    a Revising the section heading;
    b. Adding a new paragraph (a)(1)(i);
    c. Adding and reserving a new paragraph (a)(1)(ii);
    d. Revising paragraphs (d), (e)(2), and (h).
    The additions and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  214.3  Approval of schools for enrollment of F and M 
nonimmigrants.

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) Filing a petition after the SEVIS mandatory compliance date. 
Any school or school system seeking approval for attendance by 
nonimmigrant students after the SEVIS mandatory compliance date must 
electronically file a petition for initial approval using the Student 
and Exchange Visitor Information (SEVIS). To electronically file a 
petition, the petitioning school must access SEVIS on the Internet and 
provide the following information: the school's name; the first, 
middle, and last name of the contact person for the school; and the 
email address of the contact person. Once this basic information has 
been submitted, the school will be issued a temporary ID and password 
in order to access the SEVIS site to complete and submit an electronic 
Form I-17.
    (ii) [Reserved.]
* * * * *

[[Page 60112]]

    (d) Interview of petitioner. An authorized representative of the 
petitioner may be required to appear in person before an immigration 
officer prior to the adjudication of the petition to be interviewed 
under oath concerning the eligibility of the school for approval.
    (e) * * *
    (2) General. Upon approval of a petition, the district director 
shall notify the petitioner. An approved school is required to report 
immediately to the district director having jurisdiction over the 
school any material modification to its name, address, or curriculum 
for a determination of continued eligibility for approval. The approval 
is valid only for the type of program and student specified in the 
approval notice. The approval may be withdrawn in accordance with the 
provisions of 8 CFR 214.4, and is subject to review every 2 years.
* * * * *
    (h) SEVIS certification and school review.--
    (1) Review of schools for initial enrollment in SEVIS. Each school 
that is currently approved for attendance by nonimmigrants under 
section 101(a)(15)(F)(i) or 101(a)(15)(m)(i) of the Act, is required to 
apply for review by the Service for continuation of approval and access 
to SEVIS no later than the SEVIS mandatory compliance date.
    (i) SEVIS certification process. In order to ensure that the 
Service has sufficient time to review and adjudicate all submitted 
Forms I-17 prior to the SEVIS mandatory compliance date, schools must 
electronically complete a Form I-17 in SEVIS and submit a certification 
fee of $580 at least 75 days prior to the SEVIS mandatory compliance 
date. A school may still submit a Form I-17 any time prior to the SEVIS 
mandatory compliance date. However schools that file petitions less 
than 75 days prior to the SEVIS mandatory compliance date may 
experience a period during which they may not issue Forms I-20 as the 
Service completes the review process. Schools may begin the review 
process by accessing the SEVIS website and entering the basic contact 
information required in order to receive a temporary user ID and 
password for SEVIS. Using this ID and password, the school official 
will again access the SEVIS website and complete and submit the 
electronic Form I-17.
    (ii) Preliminary enrollment in SEVIS. Schools that were approved 
for preliminary enrollment by the Service under 8 CFR 214.12 must 
complete the certification review process, including submission of the 
required fee, prior to May 14, 2004.
    (2) Service adjudication. The Service will review the electronic 
Form I-17 information submitted in SEVIS and will require an on-site 
visit of the school. If the Service approves the certification request, 
SEVIS will be updated to reflect the approval and will automatically 
generate permanent passwords and IDs for all Designated School 
Officials listed. Upon the discretion of the Service, certain schools 
may be conditionally enrolled in SEVIS prior to the on-site visit, as 
provided in Sec.  214.12(e). If the Service does allow a school to 
enroll in SEVIS prior to an on-site review, the school will be subject 
to a full-scale review and on-site visit at a later date. If the 
Service denies SEVIS certification, the Service will send electronic 
notification through SEVIS to the school and mail written notification 
that includes the reasons for denial and the process for seeking review 
of such denial.
    (3) Two-year review of school approval. The Service will review the 
approval of a school every 2 years and will charge a recertification 
fee to review a school's compliance with the reporting requirements of 
paragraph (g)(2) of this section and continued eligibility for approval 
pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section. If the Service determines 
that a recertification should be denied, the school will be notified of 
the reasons for denial and the process for seeking review of such 
denial.
    (4) Periodic review of approved schools. In addition, the Service 
may, at any time, review the approval of a school to verify compliance 
with the reporting requirements of paragraph (g)(2) of this section and 
continued eligibility for approval pursuant to paragraph (e) of this 
section. The Service shall also, upon receipt of notification, evaluate 
any changes made to the name, address, or curriculum of an approved 
school to determine if the changes have affected the school's 
eligibility for approval. The Service may require the school under 
review to furnish a currently executed Form I-17 without fee, along 
with supporting documents, as a petition for continuation of school 
approval when there is a question about whether the school still meets 
the eligibility requirements. If upon completion of the review, the 
Service determines that the school is not eligible for continued access 
to SEVIS, the Service will institute withdrawal proceedings in 
accordance with 8 CFR 214.4(b).
* * * * *
    5. Section 214.4 is amended by adding a new paragraph (a)(3), to 
read as follows:


Sec.  214.4  Withdrawal of school approval.

    (a) * * *
    (3) Automatic withdrawal as of SEVIS mandatory compliance date. The 
present approval of any school that has not filed for enrollment in 
SEVIS by the mandatory compliance date for attendance of nonimmigrant 
students under section 101(a)(15)(F)(i) or 101(a)(15)(M)(i) of the Act 
is automatically withdrawn as of the day following the mandatory 
compliance date for SEVIS. Given the time necessary to conduct a review 
of each school, the Service will review and adjudicate Form I-17 
petitions for approval in SEVIS prior to the SEVIS mandatory compliance 
date only for Form I-17 petitions filed at least 75 days prior to this 
mandatory date. If a Form I-17 petition is filed less than 75 days 
prior to the mandatory compliance date and is not adjudicated prior to 
the mandatory compliance date, the school will not be authorized to 
access SEVIS and will be unable to issue any SEVIS Forms I-20 until the 
adjudication is complete.

    Dated: September 19, 2002.
James W. Ziglar,
Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service.
[FR Doc. 02-24337 Filed 9-24-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P





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