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[Federal Register: June 8, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 110)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 33237-33239]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr08jn06-13]                         

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 62

[Public Notice 5437]
RIN 1400-AC16

 
Au Pair Exchange Programs

AGENCY: State Department.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of State (Department) adopts as final certain 
proposed amendments to existing au pair regulations. These changes will 
permit au pair sponsors to request a one-time extension of six, nine, 
or 12 months beyond an au pair participant's original 12-month period 
of program participation).

DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective July 10, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stanley S. Colvin, Director, Office of 
Exchange Coordination and Designation, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 
301 4th Street, SW., Room 734, Washington, DC 20547; or email at 
jexchanges@state.gov.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In February 2004, the Department of State 
announced a pilot program whereby Department designated au pair 
sponsors could request the extension of program participation beyond 
the original 12-month maximum period afforded au pair participants. The 
Department has completed its review of the Au Pair Pilot Extension 
Program and has determined that au pair extensions enhance the overall 
success of this program. Both host families and au pair participants 
have enthusiastically embraced the extension concept. Accordingly, the 
Department is adopting the amendment of program regulations to permit 
designated sponsors of the au pair program to submit requests to the 
Department for consideration of program extensions for six, nine, or 12 
month durations for first-year au pair participants beyond the maximum 
duration of participation allowed under Section 62.31(c)(1).

Analysis of Comments

    The Department received a total of 1 comment on the proposed rule 
for Au Pair extension requests. However, the

[[Page 33238]]

comment requested substantive changes to the existing au pair 
regulations and did not address the specific changes stated in the 
proposed rule.

Regulatory Analysis and Notices

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department is publishing this rule as a final rule, after it 
was published as a proposed rule on February 2, 2006.

Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business

    These proposed changes to the regulations are hereby certified as 
not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, and Executive Order 13272, section 
3(b).

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 5 U.S.C. 804 for the 
purposes of Congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 801-
808). 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. In addition, the Department is 
exempt from Executive Order 12866 except to the extent that it is 
promulgating regulations in conjunction with a domestic agency that are 
significant regulatory actions. The Department has nevertheless 
reviewed the regulation to ensure its consistency with the regulatory 
philosophy and principles set forth in that Executive Order.

Executive Order 12988

    The Department has reviewed this regulation in light of sections 
3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, 
minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce 
burden.

Executive Orders 12372 and 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. The 
regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do 
not apply to this regulation.

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 
35.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 62

    Cultural Exchange Programs.

0
Accordingly, 22 CFR part 62 is to be amended as follows:

PART 62--EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM

0
1. The Authority citation for part 62 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(J), 1182, 1184, 1258; 22 U.S.C. 
1431-1442, 2451-2460; Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act 
of 1998, Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 et seq.; Reorganization 
Plan No. 2 of 1977, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp. p. 200; E.O. 12048 of March 
27, 1978; 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 168.


0
2. Section 62.31 is amended by revising paragraph (k) and adding 
paragraphs (o) and (p) to read as follows:


Sec.  62.31  Au pairs.

* * * * *
    (k) Educational component. Sponsors must:
    (1) Require that during their initial period of program 
participation, all EduCare au pair participants complete not less than 
12 semester hours (or their equivalent) of academic credit in formal 
educational settings at accredited U.S. post-secondary institutions and 
that all other au pair participants complete not less than six semester 
hours (or their equivalent) of academic credit in formal educational 
settings at accredited U.S. post-secondary institutions. As a condition 
of program participation, host family participants must agree to 
facilitate the enrollment and attendance of au pairs in accredited U.S. 
post secondary institutions and to pay the cost of such academic course 
work in an amount not to exceed $1,000 for EduCare au pair participants 
and in an amount not to exceed $500 for all other au pair participants.
    (2) Require that during any extension of program participation, all 
participants (i.e., Au Pair or EduCare) satisfy an additional 
educational requirement, as follows:
    (i) For a nine or 12-month extension, all au pair participants and 
host families shall have the same obligation for coursework and payment 
therefore as is required during the initial period of program 
participation.
    (ii) For a six-month extension, EduCare au pair participants must 
complete not less than six semester hours (or their equivalent) of 
academic credit in formal educational settings at accredited U.S. post-
secondary institutions. As a condition of participation, host family 
participants must agree to facilitate the enrollment and attendance of 
au pairs at accredited U.S. post secondary institutions and to pay the 
cost of such academic coursework in an amount not to exceed $500. All 
other au pair participants must complete not less than three semester 
hours (or their equivalent) of academic credit in formal educational 
settings at accredited U.S. post-secondary institutions. As a condition 
of program participation, host family participants must agree to 
facilitate the enrollment and attendance of au pairs at accredited U.S. 
post secondary institutions and to pay the cost of such academic 
coursework in an amount not to exceed $250.
* * * * *
    (o) Extension of Program. The Department, in its sole discretion, 
may approve extensions for au pair participants beyond the initial 12-
month program. Applications to the Department for extensions of six, 
nine, or 12 months, must be received by the Department not less than 30 
calendar days prior to the expiration of the exchange visitor's initial 
authorized stay in either the Au Pair or EduCare program (i.e., 30-
calendar days prior to the program end date listed on the exchange 
visitor's Form DS-2019). The

[[Page 33239]]

request for an extension beyond the maximum duration of the initial 12-
month program must be submitted electronically in the Department of 
Homeland Security's Student and Exchange Visitor Information System 
(SEVIS). Supporting documentation must be submitted to the Department 
on the sponsor's organizational letterhead and contain the following 
information:
    (1) Au pair's name, SEVIS identification number, date of birth, the 
length of the extension period being requested;
    (2) Verification that the au pair completed the educational 
requirements of the initial program; and
    (3) Payment of the required non-refundable fee (see 22 CFR 62.90) 
via Pay.gov.
    (p) Repeat Participation. Exchange visitors who have participated 
in the Au Pair Program are not eligible for repeat participation.

    Dated: June 2, 2006.
Stanley S. Colvin,
Director, Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation, Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
 [FR Doc. E6-8958 Filed 6-7-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P




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