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[Federal Register: January 31, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 21)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 5194-5195]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



22 CFR Part 41

[Public Notice 4163]
RIN 1400-AB43

Visas: Removal of Visa and Passport Waiver for Certain Permanent 
Residents of Canada and Bermuda

AGENCY: Department of State.

ACTION: Interim rule, with request for comments.


SUMMARY: This rule amends the Department of State's regulation that 
allows certain permanent residents of Canada and Bermuda who share a 
common nationality with nationals of Canada or with British subjects in 
Bermuda to enter the United States without a passport or visa. The 
Department is taking this action in conjunction with the Immigration 
and Naturalization Service of the Department of Justice (INS) due to 
the heightened border security concerns following the events of 
September 11, 2001. Aliens affected by this change will hereafter be 
required to present a passport and a visa when applying for entry into 
the United States. The Department is also changing the reference in the 
current regulation to ``British subjects in Bermuda''. In the amended 
regulation, in accordance with recent legislation adopted by the United 
Kingdom, those persons will instead be referred to as ``citizens of the 
Overseas Territory of Bermuda''. Canadian nationals and citizens of the 
Overseas Territory of Bermuda will retain their current waiver 

DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective 45 days from the date of 
publication in the Federal Register.
    Comment Date: Interested persons should submit comments on or 
before 60 days from date of publication in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments, in duplicate, to H. Edward Odom, Chief, 
Legislation and Regulations Division, Visa Services, Department of 
State, Washington, DC 20522-0113; or by e-mail to

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information regarding the 
publication of this regulation under the Administrative Procedures Act 
contact Patrick A. Chairge, Legislation and Regulations Division, Visa 
Office, Room L603-C, SA-1, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-
0106, (202) 663-1260; or For information 
regarding the possible effect of this regulation on individual visa 
applicants or any group of applicants contact the Public Inquiries 
Division of the Directorate for Visa Services at (202) 663-1225, or by 
e-mail to


On What Authority Has the Department Granted This Waiver?

    Section 212(d)(4)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 
8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(4), permits the Secretary of State and the Attorney 
General, acting jointly, to waive the passport and visa requirements of 
section 212(a)(7) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(7). This waiver is 
granted on the basis of reciprocity with respect to nationals of 
foreign contiguous territories or adjacent islands or for residents who 
have a common nationality with those nationals.

Who Currently Benefits From This Waiver?

    Currently, subsection (b) of 22 CFR 41.2 benefits Canadian 
permanent residents who have a common nationality with Canadians, 
British subjects in Bermuda and aliens who have a common nationality 
with such subjects. The waiver thus includes citizens of Commonwealth 
countries as well as citizens of Ireland. Nationals of 54 countries 
currently benefit from this waiver.

Why Is the Department Removing Part of This Waiver?

    In light of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the 
Department has determined that it is in the public interest to 
reconsider this waiver, in part. Findings from the Department's review 
indicate that some beneficiaries of the waiver who are lawful permanent 
residents of Canada or Bermuda include nationals from countries 
requiring special clearance procedures. Beneficiaries also include 
nationals from countries with high rates of fraud and abuse and 
nationals from countries with high nonimmigrant refusal rates. In view 
of these determinations, the Department is removing that part of its

[[Page 5195]]

current regulation that benefits Canadian and Bermudan non-citizen 
residents who have a common nationality with Canadian and Bermudan 
citizens. Those non-citizen residents will be required to present visas 
and passports when attempting to enter the United States, except those 
entering pursuant to the permanent Visa Waiver Program who will require 
a passport but not a visa.

Why Has the Department Changed the Reference to ``British Subjects in 

    The ``British Overseas Territory Act of 2002'' changed former 
references to ``dependent territories'', including Bermuda, to 
``British Overseas Territories'' and established the citizenship of 
such territories as ``British Overseas Territories Citizenship''. 
Therefore citizens of Bermuda will now be referred to in the regulation 
as ``citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda'', rather 
than ``British subjects in Bermuda''.

Request for Comments

    The Department is seeking public comments regarding this interim 
rule. The Department welcomes comments on all topics contained within 
this interim rule.

Interim Rule

    This interim rule amends the Department's regulation at 41.2(b) 
that grants visa and passport waivers to certain Canadian permanent 
residents, British subjects in Bermuda and certain permanent residents 
of Bermuda by removing from its application Canadian and Bermudan 
permanent residents.

Regulatory Analysis and Notices

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 believes that immediate implementation of this regulation is 
in the public interest to ensure public safety in light of ongoing 
security concerns following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 
2001. Some beneficiaries of the visa and passport waiver include 
nationals from countries requiring special clearance procedures. 
Beneficiaries also include nationals from countries with high rates of 
fraud and abuse and nationals from countries with high nonimmigrant 
refusal rates. The Department has established a 45-day post publication 
effective date for this rule in order to allow sufficient time to those 
Canadian and Bermudan residents affected by it to obtain the 
documentation that it requires they present when applying for entry 
into the United States. In this manner the Department hopes to minimize 
any disruption to travel along the border and also to minimize strain 
on INS and Department resources that might otherwise occur if 
significant numbers of aliens did not have sufficient time to obtain 
proper documentation.

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 the 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

    The Department of State considers this rule to be a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), 
Regulatory Planning and Review. Therefore, it was submitted for 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 

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 41

    Aliens, Nonimmigrants, Passports and visas.

    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 

    2. Revise paragraph (b) of 41.2 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 

* * * * *
    (b) Citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. A 
passport is not required except after a visit outside the Western 
Hemisphere. A visa is not required.
* * * * *

    Dated: January 23, 2003.
Timothy Egert,
Federal Register Liaison, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 03-2202 Filed 1-30-03; 8:45 am]