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

[Federal Register: December 31, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 249)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 74174-74175]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr31de07-6]                         


[[Page 74174]]

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

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 41

[Public Notice 6045]

 
Visas: Documentation of Non-immigrants Under the Immigration and 
Nationality Act

AGENCY: Department of State.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This rule amends 22 CFR Part 41 in order to reflect increased 
security measures requiring fingerprinting and name checks of all visa 
applicants, with certain narrow exceptions, and to be consistent with 
an amendment to the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services including 
the cost of such checks in fees for non-immigrant and immigrant visas 
and border crossing cards.

DATES: This final rule becomes effective January 1, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara J. Kennedy, Legislation and 
Regulations Division, Visa Services, Department of State; 2401 E 
Street, NW., Room L-603, Washington, DC 20520-0106, (202) 663-1206, e-
mail KennedyBJ@State.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

What Is the Authority for This Action?

    The Secretary of State is charged with the administration and 
enforcement of the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
(INA) and all other immigration and nationality laws relating to, inter 
alia, the powers, duties and functions of consular officers. 8 U.S.C. 
1104. The Secretary is also authorized to establish regulations 
necessary for carrying out these duties. Id. In 2004, Congress found 
that existing procedures allowed many individuals to enter the United 
States showing only minimal identification and that greater security 
measures were necessary to protect the United States from terrorist 
attacks. Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 
(IRTPA), Pub. L. 108-458 (Dec. 17, 2004), section 7209. In order to 
more effectively carry out its duties to administer and enforce the 
INA, and to respond to the congressional mandate in the IRTPA to 
increase the nation's border security, the Department has begun 
performing fingerprint and name checks on all visa applicants except 
those falling within a narrow range of exceptions. Fingerprints are now 
required of all visa applicants except those under 14 years of age or 
over 79 years of age, and certain diplomats and officials. The 
expansion of fingerprint and name checks to include the vast majority 
of visa applicants is a critical component of the Department's efforts 
to enhance the nation's border security.

Why is the Department Amending Part 41 at This Time?

    The deletion of Part 22, section 41.105(b) is necessary at this 
time because the Department is conducting fingerprint checks and name 
checks on all visa applicants who do not fall within the exceptions 
noted above, and because beginning on January 1, 2008, the cost of such 
checks will be included in visa fees, including the fees for non-
immigrant visas. In contrast, section 41.105(b) prescribes fingerprint 
and name checks of non-immigrant visa applicants only in certain 
circumstances, and provides that a fee for fingerprint checks will only 
be charged when a name check indicates the possibility of a criminal 
history. 22 CFR 41.105(b) should be deleted in order to ensure that the 
Department's regulations concerning fingerprint and name checks of non-
immigrant visa applicants are consistent. In order to prevent any 
confusion as to when fingerprint and name checks are required of non-
immigrant visa applicants and what fees for these services must be paid 
by visa applicants, the provision must be deleted effective January 1, 
2008, simultaneously with the effective date of the amendment to the 
Schedule of Fees for Consular Services.

Regulatory Findings

Administrative Procedure Act

    This regulation involves a foreign affairs function of the United 
States and, therefore, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1), is not 
subject to the rule making procedures set forth at 5 U.S.C. 533.
    Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272:

Small Business.

    Because this final rule is exempt from notice and comment 
rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 553, it is exempt from the regulatory 
flexibility analysis requirements set forth at sections 603 and 604 of 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 603 and 604). Nonetheless, 
consistent with section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 605(b)), the Department certifies that this rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UFMA), 
Pub. L. 104-4, 109 Stat. 48, 2 U.S.C. 1532, generally requires agencies 
to prepare a statement before proposing any rule that may result in an 
annual expenditure of $100 million or more by State, local, or tribal 
governments, or by the private sector. This rule will not result in any 
such expenditure, nor will it significantly or uniquely affect small 
governments.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804, for 
purposes of congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-121. 
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 adverse 
effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, 
innovation, or the ability of United States-based companies to compete 
with foreign based companies in domestic and import 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, this rule is exempt 
from review under E.O. 12866. The Department has nevertheless reviewed 
it to ensure its consistency with the regulatory philosophy and 
principles set forth in that Executive Order.

Executive Orders 12372 and 13132: Federalism

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Nor will the rule have federalism 
implications warranting the application of Executive Orders No. 12372 
and No. 13132.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose information collection requirements under 
the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C., Chapter 35.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 41

    Visas, Nonimmigrants, Passports and Visas, Fees, Surcharge.


[[Page 74175]]



0
Accordingly, 22 CFR part 41 is amended as follows:

PART 41--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for Part 41 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1104; Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681-795 
through 2681-801; 8 U.S.C. 1185 note (section 7209 of Pub. L. 108-
458).

0
2. Section 41.105 is amended by removing paragraph (b).

    Dated: December 21, 2007.
Maura Harty,
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. E7-25417 Filed 12-28-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-P




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