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Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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Request OMB Emergency Approval; H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption

The Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has submitted an emergency information collection request (ICR) utilizing emergency review procedures to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with section 1320.13(a)1(ii) and (a)(2)(iii) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The INS has determined that it cannot reasonably comply with the normal clearance procedures under this part because normal clearance procedures are reasonably likely to prevent or disrupt the collection of information. INS is requesting emergency review from OMB of this information collection to ensure compliance with Public Law 106-311 and Public Law 106-313 (the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000) enacted October 17, 2000. This legislation increased the additional filing fee and added primary and secondary schools and nonprofit entities engaging in established curriculum related training to the list of entities exempt from paying the additional filing fee. Emergency review and approval of this ICR ensures that the collection instrument is in place by the December 17, 2000 effective date. Therefore, OMB approval has been requested by December 1, 2000.

If granted, the emergency approval is only valid for 180 days. All comments and/or questions pertaining to this pending request for emergency approval MUST be directed to OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 725-17th Street, N.W., Suite 10235, Washington, DC 20503; Attention: Ms. Lauren Wittenberg, Department of Justice Desk Officer, 202-395-4718. Comments regarding the emergency submission of this information collection may also be submitted via facsimile to Ms. Wittenberg at 202-395-6974.

During the first 60 days of this same period, a regular review of this information collection is also being undertaken. During the regular review period, the INS requests written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning this information collection. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until January 26, 2001. During the 60-day regular review, ALL comments and suggestions, or questions regarding additional information, to include obtaining a copy of the information collection instrument with instructions, should be directed to Mr. Richard A. Sloan, 202-514-3291, Director, Policy Directives and Instructions Branch, Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice, Room 4034, 425 I Street, NW., Washington, DC 20536. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information should address one or more of the following four points;

(1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Overview of this information collection:

(1) Type of Information Collection: Revised information collection.

(2) Title of the Form/Collection: H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption.

(3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department of Justice sponsoring the collection: Form I-129W. Adjudications Division, Immigration and Naturalization Service.

(4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Business or other for-profit. This addendum to the Form I-129 will be used by the INS to determine if an H-1B petitioner is exempt from the additional filing fee of $1,000, as provided by Section 241(c)(9) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

(5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: 128,092 responses at 30 minutes (.50 hours) per response.

(6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: 64,046 annual burden hours.

If additional information is required contract: Mr. Robert B. Briggs, Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Information Management and Security Staff, Justice Management Division, Suite 850, Washington Center, 1001 G Street, NW., Washington, DC 20530.

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Dated: November 20, 2000.

Richard A. Sloan,

Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-30081 Filed 11-24-00; 8:45 am]