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Notice

Notice of Information Collection Under OMB Emergency Review: Request for Approval To Travel to a Restricted Country or Area

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Start Preamble

ACTION:

Notice of request for emergency OMB approval and public comment.

SUMMARY:

The Department of State has submitted the information collection request described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the emergency review procedures of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The purpose of this notice is to allow 21 days for public comment from all interested individuals and organizations. Emergency review and approval of this collection has been requested from OMB by September 1, 2017.

DATES:

All public comments must be received by August 23, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Direct any comments on this emergency request to both the Department of State Desk Officer in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and to Bureau of Consular Affairs, Passport Services Directorate.

You may submit comments to OMB by the following methods:

  • Email: oira_submission@omb.eop.gov. You must include Emergency Submission Comment on “Request for Approval to Travel to a Restricted Country or Area” in the subject line of your message.
  • Fax: 202-395-5806. Attention: Desk Officer for Department of State.

You may submit comments to Bureau of Consular Affairs, Passport Services Directorate by the following methods:

  • Web: Persons with access to the Internet may comment on this notice by going to www.Regulations.gov. You can search for the document by entering “Docket Number: DOS-2017-0033” in the Search field. Then click the “Comment Now” button and complete the comment form.
  • Email: PRA_BurdenComments@state.gov. You must include Emergency Submission Comment on “Request for Approval to Travel to a Restricted Country or Area” in the subject line of your message.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Direct requests for additional information regarding the collection listed in this notice, including requests for copies of the proposed collection instrument and supporting documents, Start Printed Page 36066to PPT Forms Officer, U.S. Department of State, CA/PPT/S/L/LA 44132 Mercure Cir, P.O. Box 1227, Sterling, VA 20166-1227, by phone at (202) 485-6373, or by email at PPTFormsOfficer@state.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

  • Title of Information Collection: Request for Approval to Travel to a Restricted Country or Area.
  • OMB Control Number: 1405-XXXX.
  • Type of Request: Emergency Review.
  • Originating Office: Bureau of Consular Affairs, Passport Services Directorate, Office of Legal Affairs and Law Enforcement Liaison (CA/PPT/S/L).
  • Form Number: None.
  • Respondents: Individuals applying for a U.S. passport containing a special validation in accordance with 22 CFR 51.64 to use a U.S. passport to travel to, in, or through a country or area as to which U.S. passports have been declared invalid for such travel pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 211a and Executive Order 11295 (August 5, 1966) and in accordance with 22 CFR 51.63(a).
  • Estimated Number of Respondents: 100 respondents.
  • Estimated Number of Responses: 200 responses.
  • Average Time per Response: 45 minutes.
  • Total Estimated Burden Time: 149 hours.
  • Frequency: Twice per respondent's application.
  • Obligation To Respond: Required to Obtain a Benefit.

We are soliciting public comments to permit the Department to:

  • Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper functions of the Department.
  • Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the time and cost burden of this proposed collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.
  • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.
  • Minimize the reporting burden on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Please note that comments submitted in response to this Notice are public records. Before including any detailed personal information, you should be aware that your comments as submitted, including your personal information, will be available for public review.

Abstract of Proposed Collection

The Secretary of State may exercise authority, under 22 U.S.C. 211a, Executive Order 11295 (August 5, 1966), and 22 CFR 51.63, to invalidate all U.S. passports for travel to a country or area if he determines that any of three conditions exist: The country is at war with the United States; armed hostilities are in progress in the country or area; or there is imminent danger to the public health or physical safety of U.S. travelers in the country or area. The regulations of the Department of State provide that an individual's passport may be considered for validation for travel to, in, or through a country or area despite such restriction if the individual's travel is determined to fall within one of several categories established by the regulations. 22 CFR 51.64. Without the requisite validation, use of a U.S. passport for travel to, in, or through a restricted country or area may justify revocation of the passport for misuse under 22 CFR 51.62(a)(2) and subject the traveler to felony prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 1544 for misuse of a passport or other applicable laws.

The categories of persons specified in 22 CFR 51.64(b) as being eligible for consideration for passport validation are as follows:

(a) An applicant who is a professional reporter and journalist whose trip is for the purpose of collecting and making available to the public information about the restricted country or area;

(b) An applicant who is a representative of the American Red Cross or the International Committee of the Red Cross on official mission to the restricted country or area;

(c) An applicant whose trip to the restricted country or area is justified by compelling humanitarian considerations; or

(d) An applicant whose trip to the restricted country or area is otherwise in the national interest.

The proposed information collection solicits data necessary for the Passport Services Directorate to determine whether an applicant is eligible to receive a special validation in his or her U.S. passport book permitting the applicant to make one round-trip to a restricted country or area. The information requested consists of the applicant's name, a copy of the front and back of the applicant's valid government-issued photo identification card with the applicant's date of birth, current contact information, including telephone number and mailing address, and a statement explaining the reason that the applicant thinks his or her trip is in the national interest, supported by documentary evidence. Failure to provide the requested information will result in denial of a special validation to use a U.S. passport to travel to, in, or through a restricted country or area.

The estimated number of recipients represents the Department of State's estimate of the number of persons who will request special validations to use their U.S. passport to travel to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), following implementation of a passport restriction that will become effective thirty days after publication of the Secretary of State's determination that there is imminent danger to the public health or physical safety of U.S. travelers in the DPRK. At this time, there are no other countries or areas that are the subject of passport restrictions pursuant to 22 CFR 51.63. In its next request to continue collecting information from individuals applying for special validations to travel in, to, or through a restricted country or area, the Department of State will update the estimated number of recipients based on its experience.

Methodology

The Department of State will post instructions for individuals seeking to apply for a special validation to use a U.S. passport to travel to, in, or through a restricted country or area on travel information Web site maintained by the Department (travel.state.gov). Applicants at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad and at domestic passport agencies and centers will be directed to this Web site for additional information. The Web site will direct applicants to submit the requested information via email to the Passport Services Directorate (PPTSpecialValidations@state.gov) or by mail to Special Validations, U.S. Department of State, CA/PPT/L/LA, 44132 Mercure Circle, P.O. Box 1227, Sterling, VA 20166-1227.

Information collected in this manner will be used to facilitate the granting of special validations to U.S. nationals who are eligible. The primary purpose of soliciting the information is to establish whether an applicant is within one of the categories specified in the regulations of the Department of State codified at 22 CFR 51.64(b) and therefore eligible to be issued a U.S. passport containing a special validation enabling him or her to make one round-trip to a restricted country or area, and to facilitate the application for a passport of such applicants.

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Start Printed Page 36067

Dated: July 28, 2017.

Brenda S. Sprague,

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State.

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[FR Doc. 2017-16286 Filed 8-1-17; 8:45 am]

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