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Rule

Visas: Documentation of Nonimmigrants Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

State Department.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule changes Department regulations to broaden the authority of Start Printed Page 23478a consular officer to revoke a visa at any time subsequent to issuance of the visa, in his or her discretion. These changes to the Department's revocation regulations expand consular officer visa revocation authority to the full extent allowed by statute. Additionally, this rule change allows consular officers and designated officials within the Department to revoke a visa provisionally while considering a final visa revocation.

DATES:

This rule is effective April 27, 2011.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lawrence B. Kurland, Jr., Legislation and Regulations Division, Visa Services, Department of State, 2401 E Street, NW., Room L-603D, Washington, DC 20520-0106, (202) 663-1260, e-mail (KurlandLB@state.gov).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Why is the Department promulgating this rule?

On occasion, after a visa has been issued, the Department or a consular officer may determine that a visa should be revoked when information reveals that the applicant was originally or has since become ineligible or may be ineligible to possess a U.S. visa. Section 221(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1201(i)) (INA) authorizes the Secretary and consular officers to revoke a visa in their discretion.

Current regulations limit the circumstances in which consular officers may revoke visas. In light of security concerns, this amendment grants additional authority to consular officers to revoke visas, consistent with the statutory provisions of the INA. Although this rule eliminates the provisions that permit reconsideration of a revocation, it also allows for the provisional revocation of a visa when there is a need for further consideration of information that might lead to a final revocation. In cases where the person subject to a provisional revocation is found to be eligible for the visa, the visa will be reinstated with no need for reapplication. However, with the exception of provisional revocations, an applicant whose visa has been revoked must apply for another visa, at which time his or her eligibility for the visa will be adjudicated.

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. 553.

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. This rule regulates individual aliens who hold nonimmigrant or immigrant visas, including employment-based visas. Because section 221(i) of the INA already grants the Secretary and consular officers authority to revoke visas in their discretion (an authority already exercised by the Secretary and designees), and this rule simply lifts a regulatory restriction on consular officers to exercise the same authority, the Department expects that any effect of this rule on small entities will be minimal.

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, Public Law 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.

The 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, Public Law 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 has reviewed this rule to ensure its consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in Executive Order 12866 and has determined that the benefits of the proposed regulation justify its costs. The Department does not consider the rule to be an economically significant action within the scope of section 3(f)(1) of the Executive Order since it is not likely to have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or to adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or state, local or tribal governments or communities.

Executive Order 13563

The Department of State has considered this rule in light of Executive Order 13563, dated January 18, 2011, and affirms that this regulation is consistent with the guidance therein.

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.

Executive Order 13175—Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

The Department has determined that this rulemaking will not have tribal implications, will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments, and will not pre-empt tribal law. Accordingly, the requirements of section 5 of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to this rulemaking.

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.

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List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 41

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Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, 22 CFR parts 41 and 42 are amended as follows:

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PART 41—VISAS: DOCUMENTATION OF NONIMMIGRANTS UNDER THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT, AS AMENDED

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

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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, as amended by section 546 of Pub. L. 109-295).

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2. Section 41.122 is revised to read as follows:

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Revocation of visas.

(a) Grounds for revocation by consular officers. A consular officer, the Secretary, or a Department official to whom the Secretary has delegated this authority is authorized to revoke a nonimmigrant visa at any time, in his or her discretion.

(b) Provisional revocation. A consular officer, the Secretary, or any Department official to whom the Secretary has delegated this authority may provisionally revoke a nonimmigrant visa while considering information related to whether a visa holder is eligible for the visa. Provisional revocation shall have the same force and effect as any other visa revocation under INA 221(i).

(c) Notice of revocation. Unless otherwise instructed by the Department, a consular officer shall, if practicable, notify the alien to whom the visa was issued that the visa was revoked or provisionally revoked. Regardless of delivery of such notice, once the revocation has been entered into the Department's Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS), the visa is no longer to be considered valid for travel to the United States. The date of the revocation shall be indicated in CLASS and on any notice sent to the alien to whom the visa was issued.

(d) Procedure for physically canceling visas. A nonimmigrant visa that is revoked shall be canceled by writing or stamping the word “REVOKED” plainly across the face of the visa, if the visa is available to the consular officer. The failure or inability to physically cancel the visa does not affect the validity of the revocation.

(e) Revocation of visa by immigration officer. An immigration officer is authorized to revoke a valid visa by physically canceling it in accordance with the procedure described in paragraph (d) of this section if:

(1) The alien obtains an immigrant visa or an adjustment of status to that of permanent resident;

(2) The alien is ordered excluded from the United States under INA 236, as in effect prior to April 1, 1997, or removed from the United States pursuant to INA 235;

(3) The alien is notified pursuant to INA 235 by an immigration officer at a port of entry that the alien appears to be inadmissible to the United States, and the alien requests and is granted permission to withdraw the application for admission;

(4) A final order of deportation or removal or a final order granting voluntary departure with an alternate order of deportation or removal is entered against the alien;

(5) The alien has been permitted by DHS to depart voluntarily from the United States;

(6) DHS has revoked a waiver of inadmissibility granted pursuant to INA 212(d)(3)(A) in relation to the visa that was issued to the alien;

(7) The visa is presented in connection with an application for admission to the United States by a person other than the alien to whom the visa was issued;

(8) The visa has been physically removed from the passport in which it was issued; or

(9) The visa has been issued in a combined Mexican or Canadian B-1/B-2 visa and border crossing identification card, and the immigration officer makes the determination specified in § 41.32(c) with respect to the alien's Mexican citizenship and/or residence or the determination specified in § 41.33(b) with respect to the alien's status as a permanent resident of Canada.

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PART 42—VISAS: DOCUMENTATION OF IMMIGRANTS UNDER THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT, AS AMENDED

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3. The authority citation for section 42 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1104 and 1182; Pub. L. 105-277; Pub. L. 108-449; 112 Stat. 2681-795 through 2681-801; The Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (done at the Hague, May 29, 1993), S. Treaty Doc. 105-51 (1998), 1870 U.N.T.S. 167 (Reg. No. 31922 (1993)); The Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, 42 U.S.C. 14901-14954, Pub. L. 106-279.

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4. Section 42.82 is revised to read as follows:

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Revocation of visas.

(a) Grounds for revocation by consular officers. A consular officer, the Secretary, or any Department official to whom the Secretary has delegated this authority is authorized to revoke an immigrant visa at any time, in his or her discretion.

(b) Provisional revocation. A consular officer, the Secretary, or any Department official to whom the Secretary has delegated this authority may provisionally revoke an immigrant visa while considering information related to whether a visa holder is eligible for the visa. Provisional revocation shall have the same force and effect as any other visa revocation under INA 221(i).

(c) Notice of revocation. Unless otherwise instructed by the Department, a consular officer shall, if practicable, notify the alien to whom the visa was issued that the visa was revoked or provisionally revoked. Regardless of delivery of such notice, once the revocation has been entered into the Department's Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS), the visa is no longer to be considered valid for travel to the United States. The date of the revocation shall be indicated in CLASS and on any notice sent to the alien to whom the visa was issued.

(d) Procedure for physically canceling visas. An immigrant visa that is revoked shall be canceled by writing or stamping the word “REVOKED” plainly across the face of the visa, if the visa is available to the consular officer. The failure or inability to physically cancel the visa does not affect the validity of the revocation.

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Dated: April 18, 2011.

Janice L. Jacobs,

Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.

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[FR Doc. 2011-10077 Filed 4-26-11; 8:45 am]

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