Exchange visitor program: year requirement; waiver requests; processing fee,

 
CONTENT

[Federal Register: February 9, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 26)]

[Rules and Regulations]

[Page 6191]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr09fe99-3]

UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY

22 CFR Part 514

Exchange Visitor Program

AGENCY: United States Information Agency.

ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: By interim rule published June 26, 1998 (63 Rule 34808), the Agency adopted a fee sufficient for it to recover the full cost of its administrative processing of requests for waiver of the two-year return to the home country requirement set forth in section 212(e) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(e)). Such interim rule is hereby adopted as final without change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 11, 1999.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stanley S. Colvin, Assistant General Counsel, United States Information Agency, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547; telephone, (202) 619-6531.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Agency has determined that its review of and recommendation regarding requests for the waiver of the two-year return to the home country requirement imposed by 8 U.S.C. 1182(e) confers a specific benefit to the requesting individual. Accordingly, a fee sufficient to recoup the costs of conferring this specific benefit is appropriate. The Agency identified all administrative tasks associated with the administrative processing of a waiver application and determined that the per unit cost of processing a waiver application is $136.

In publishing its interim rule the Agency provided a thirty day public comment period and received four comments. All comments were well reasoned and suggested that the fee should vary according to the statutory basis upon which the application was presented. The assumption underlying these comments was that significantly more or less work is involved in the review and recommendation of waiver cases depending upon the basis of the application. The Agency has examined this suggestion and determines that all waiver review and recommendations require that the Agency receive the waiver application, record the fee, input the application data, manage assorted records, adjudicate the application, prepare outgoing correspondence, and respond to various inquiries regarding the application. Accordingly, the administrative cost associated with the processing of these various requests varies little if at all and the $136 unit cost is the appropriate fee for all waiver applications.

A second common theme to the comments received regarded the segregation of the fee monies collected for use by the administrative processing unit responsible for waiver applications. As explained in the interim rule, the Government may recoup the full cost of administrative processing, but not more. Pursuant to statute and Executive Branch directive, the fee collected must be used to pay the costs of the administrative unit responsible for the processing of the applications.

Finally, the comments suggested that the Agency clarify that no fee is required for an advisory opinion request. The Agency does not anticipate imposing a fee for advisory opinions and does not consider an advisory opinion to confer a specific and identifiable benefit upon an individual for which a fee may be lawfully imposed.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 514

Cultural Exchange Programs. Les Jin, General Counsel.

Accordingly, the interim rule amending 22 CFR Part 514, published at 63 FR 34808 on June 26, 1998 is adopted as a final rule without change.

[FR Doc. 99-3013Filed2-8-99; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8230-01-M