[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 123 (Monday, June 28, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 36522-36535]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-15622]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Parts 22 and 51

[Public Notice: 7068]
RIN 1400-AC58


Schedule of Fees for Consular Services, Department of State and 
Overseas Embassies and Consulates

AGENCY: Bureau of Consular Affairs, State.

ACTION: Interim final rule.

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SUMMARY: Further to the Department's proposed rule to amend the 
Schedule of Fees for Consular Services (Schedule of Fees), the 
Department of State is adjusting a number of fees in light of an 
independent cost of service study's findings that the U.S. Government 
is not fully covering its costs for providing these services under the 
current fee structure. The primary objective of the adjustments to the 
Schedule of Fees is to ensure that fees for consular services reflect 
costs to the United States of providing the services to the extent 
possible. Seventeen hundred and ninety-seven comments were received 
during the period for public comment. This rule addresses comments 
received thus far, and reopens the comment period on these fees for an 
additional 60 days.

DATES: Effective date: This interim final rule becomes effective July 
13, 2010. Comment date: Written comments must be received on or before 
August 27, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to Office of the Executive Director, Bureau 
of Consular Affairs, Department of State, Suite H1004, 2401 E Street, 
NW., Washington, DC 20520.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adriel Bush, Office of the 
Comptroller, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State; phone: 
202-663-2596, telefax: 202-663-2499; e-mail: fees@state.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Department published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, 
75 FR 6321, on February 9, 2010 (Public Notice 6887), proposing to 
amend sections of 22 CFR 22. Specifically, the rule proposed changes to 
the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services and provided 30 days for 
comments from the public. In response to requests by the public for 
more information and a further opportunity to submit comments, the 
Department subsequently published a supplementary notice in the Federal 
Register, 75 FR 14111, on March 24, 2010 (Public Notice 6928). The 
supplementary notice provided a more detailed explanation of the Cost 
of Service Study (CoSS), the activity-based costing model that the 
Department used to determine the proposed fees for consular services, 
and reopened the comment period for an additional 15 days. During this 
and the previous 30-day comment period, 1,797 comments were received, 
either by email or through the submission process at http://www.regulations.gov. The current notice reflects responses by the

[[Page 36523]]

Department to the comments received in the 45 days during which the 
comment period for this proposed rule was open.
    Nonimmigrant visa fees, including fees for Machine-Readable Visas 
(MRVs) and Border Crossing Cards (BCCs), have been modified pursuant to 
a separate rule published May 20, 2010 at 75 FR 28188. These modified 
fees are reflected in Item 21 of the Schedule of Fees below alongside 
the modified fees addressed in the present notice.

What Is the authority for this action?

    As explained when the revised Schedule of Fees was published as a 
proposed rule, the Department of State derives the statutory authority 
to set the amount of fees for the consular services it provides, and to 
charge those fees, from the general user charges statute, 31 U.S.C. 
9701. See, e.g., 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)(2)(A) (``The head of each agency * * 
* may prescribe regulations establishing the charge for a service or 
thing of value provided by the agency * * * based on * * * the costs to 
the Government; * * * the value of the service or thing to the 
recipient; * * * public policy or interest served; and * * * other 
relevant facts.''). As implemented through Executive Order 10718 of 
June 27, 1957 (22 FR 4632), 22 U.S.C. 4219 further authorizes the 
Department to establish fees to be charged for official services 
provided by U.S. embassies and consulates. When a service provided by 
the Department ``provides special benefits to an identifiable recipient 
beyond those that accrue to the general public,'' guidance issued by 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires as follows: ``user 
charges will be sufficient to recover the full cost to the Federal 
Government * * * of providing the service * * * or good * * * .'' OMB 
Circular A-25, ] 6(a)(1), (a)(2)(a).
    Other authorities allow or require the Department to charge fees 
for consular services, but do not determine the amount of such fees, as 
the amount is statutorily determined, such as the $13 fee, discussed 
below, for machine-readable Border Crossing Cards (BCCs) for certain 
Mexican citizen minors. Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental 
Appropriations Act of 1999, Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681-50, Div. 
A, Title IV, Sec.  410(a) (reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1351 note).
    A number of other statutes address specific fees relating to 
passport processing, immigrant and nonimmigrant visa processing, and 
overseas citizens services. For example, 22 U.S.C. 214 requires the 
Department to charge passport application and execution fees. Another 
law authorizes the Department to establish a fee for the processing of 
applications for ``diversity visas,'' to recover the costs of the 
``visa lottery'' program conducted under Immigration and Nationality 
Act (INA) sections 203 and 222, 8 U.S.C. 1153, 1201. See Omnibus 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997, Public Law 104-208, 110 Stat. 
3009, Div. C, Title VI, Sec.  636 (reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1153 note). 
Only those applicants who register in the lottery and are selected may 
apply for a visa, and those who choose to apply must pay the fee; the 
fee incorporates the costs to the Department of administering the 
lottery program. Id. Another statute authorizes the Department to 
collect and retain surcharges on passports and immigrant visas to help 
pay for efforts to enhance border security. See 8 U.S.C. 1714. While 
these fees were originally frozen statutorily at $12 and $45 
respectively, subsequent legislation authorized the Department to amend 
these amounts administratively, provided the resulting surcharge is 
``reasonably related to the costs of providing services in connection 
with the activity or item for which the surcharges are charged.'' 
Department of State Authorities Act of 2006, Public Law 109-472, 120 
Stat. 3554, Sec.  6(b)(1) (reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1714 note). 
Furthermore, several statutes deal with fees for nonimmigrant visas, 
including the issuance fee statute, 8 U.S.C. 1351 (establishing 
reciprocity as the basis for the nonimmigrant visa issuance fee), and 
the MRV and BCC fees modified in the rule published at 75 FR 28188 on 
May 20, 2010.
    Certain persons are exempted by law or regulation from paying 
specific fees or are expressly made subject to a special fee regime by 
law. These are noted in the Schedule of Fees below. They include, for 
instance, several exemptions from the nonimmigrant visa application fee 
for certain individuals who engage in charitable activities or who 
qualify for diplomatic visas. See 8 U.S.C. 1351; 22 CFR 41.107(c). 
Certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals are similarly exempt from paying an 
immigrant visa application fee. See National Defense Authorization Act 
for Fiscal Year 2008, Public Law 110-181, 122 Stat. 3, Div. A, Title 
XII, Sec.  1244(d) (reproduced at 11 U.S.C. 1157 note); Omnibus 
Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L. 111-8, 123 Stat. 524, Div. F, Title 
VI, Sec.  602(b)(4) (reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1101 note). As another 
example, qualifying Mexican citizen minors pay a special BCC fee well 
below what it costs the Department to process such cards. Omnibus 
Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1999, 
Public Law 105-277, Div. A, Title IV, Sec.  410(a), reproduced at 8 
U.S.C. 1351 note.
    While for most consular services, the funds collected from fees 
must be deposited into the Treasury, various statutes permit the 
Department to retain the fees it collects for certain services. See, 
e.g., 31 U.S.C. 3302(b); 2 GAO Principles of Appropriations Law, 6-199 
(3d ed.) (``fees * * * paid * * * to the government * * * must be 
deposited in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts, absent statutory 
authority to the contrary''). Among these statutes are the following: 
(1) The MRV and BCC fees, Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency 
Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1999, Public Law 103-236, Title I, 
Sec.  140(a)(2), 112 Stat. 2681-50 (reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1351 note); 
(2) the passport expedite fee, Department of Commerce, Justice, and 
State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1995, 
Pub. L. 103-317, 108 Stat. 1724, Title V (reproduced at 22 U.S.C. 214 
note); (3) the passport and immigrant visa security surcharges, 8 
U.S.C. 1714; (4) the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) 
surcharge, which is embedded in the passport book and passport card 
application fees, 22 U.S.C. 214(b)(1), 22 CFR 51.51(d) (WHTI surcharge 
``will be recovered * * * from within the passport fee reflected in the 
Schedule of Fees for Consular Services''); (5) the diversity visa 
lottery fee, Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997, Public Law 
104-208, Div. C, Title VI, Sec.  636 (reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1153 
note); (6) the fee for an affidavit of support, Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2000, Public Law 106-113, 113 Stat. 1501, Div. A, 
Title II, Sec.  232(a) (reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1183a note); and (7) the 
fee to process requests from participants in the Department's Exchange 
Visitor Program for a waiver of the two-year home-residence 
requirement, 22 U.S.C. 1475e. The Department also has available to it a 
portion of certain fraud prevention and detection fees charged to 
petitioners of H- and L-category visas. 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(12)(A), 
(13)(A), 1356(v)(2)(A).

Why is the department adjusting fees at this time?

    With certain exceptions--such as the reciprocal nonimmigrant visa 
issuance fee and the reduced Mexican citizen minor BCC fee described 
above, as well as a congressionally mandated $1 surcharge on all 
nonimmigrant visas, see William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims 
Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110-457, 122 Stat. 
5044, Title II, Sec.  239 (reproduced at 8 U.S.C.

[[Page 36524]]

1351 note)--the Department of State generally sets consular fees at an 
amount calculated to achieve recovery of the costs to the U.S. 
Government of providing the consular service, in a manner consistent 
with general user charges principles, regardless of the specific 
statutory authority under which the fees are authorized. See 31 U.S.C. 
9701(b)(2)(A). As set forth in OMB Circular A-25, ``[w]hen a service * 
* * provides special benefits to an identifiable recipient beyond those 
that accrue to the general public, a charge will be imposed * * * to 
recover the full cost to the Federal Government for providing the 
special benefit * * * .'' See OMB Circular No. A-25, ] 6(a)(2)(a). The 
OMB guidance covers all Federal Executive Branch activities that convey 
special benefits to recipients beyond those that accrue to the general 
public. See id., Sec. Sec.  4(a), 6(a)(1).
    While fees are thus set in accordance with full cost recovery, 
there are limited circumstances, such as the passport book and card 
application fees for minors, in which costs are allocated to related 
fees or the Department charges a fee that is lower than the cost of 
providing the service. This may be done in order to account for 
statutory requirements or the potential impact on the public of setting 
those fees at a higher level. See 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)(2) (user charges 
based on costs to the Government, the value of the service to the 
recipient, the public policy or interest served, and other relevant 
facts).
    The Department reviews consular fees periodically to determine each 
fee's appropriateness in light of OMB guidance. The Department has made 
the changes set forth in this proposed Schedule of Fees accordingly. In 
line with this guidance, the Department contracted for an independent 
CoSS, which conducted its work from August 2007 through June 2009. The 
CoSS used an activity-based costing model to determine the current 
direct and indirect costs to the U.S. Government associated with each 
consular good and service the Department provides. The contractor, QED 
Group, LLC, its subcontractor Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., and Department 
staff surveyed and visited domestic and overseas consular sites 
handling a representative sample of all consular services worldwide. 
The study identified the cost of the various discrete consular goods 
and services, both direct and indirect, and the study's results formed 
the basis of the changes herein proposed to the Schedule of Fees. 
Activity-based costing in general and the methodology employed by the 
CoSS to arrive at the various costs of the consular services provided 
by the Department are discussed in detail in the supplementary notice 
of proposed rulemaking, at 75 FR 14111.
    In situations where services are provided with enough frequency to 
develop a reliable estimate of the average time involved, the Schedule 
of Fees generally sets a flat service fee. In situations that require 
services to be performed away from the office or during after-duty 
hours, the Department calculates the fee based on a consular ``hourly 
rate''; this rate, which appears at Item 75 on the Schedule of Fees 
below, represents the cost per hour or part thereof per consular 
employee. Whether by flat fee or fee determined by hourly rate, the 
fees the Department charges are designed to recover--at most--the full 
costs the Department expects the U.S. Government to incur over the 
period the Schedule of Fees will be in effect. The Department based all 
fees in the Schedule of Fees on projected Fiscal Year 2010 workloads.
    As a result of the CoSS's findings and the Department's analysis of 
these findings, the Department hereby implements, in the form of an 
interim final rule allowing 60 additional days for public comment, 
adjustments to the Schedule of Fees with respect to a number of 
consular services, as discussed below. The fees for other consular 
services remain unchanged. As noted above, adjustments to nonimmigrant 
visa fees, including those for BCCs, have been promulgated under a 
separate rule published May 20, 2010, see 75 FR 28188, and these 
adjustments are reflected in the revised Schedule of Fees below.
    The last broad set of amendments to the Schedule of Fees occurred 
in 2005, though the Department has made piecemeal amendments to it 
since that time. Some fees, including Items 31(a) and (b) and 35(d), 
are set by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These DHS fees 
were most recently updated by that agency on July 30, 2007, and are 
potentially subject to change in the near future. See 75 FR 33447 (June 
11, 2010) (proposed rule on DHS fees). The Department of State lists 
these DHS fees in the Department of State Schedule of Fees for 
cashiering purposes only; a complete list of fees collected from 
applicants by Department of State cashiers are posted in every embassy 
and consulate so that when customers pay fees to these cashiers they 
can compare the amount requested to the posted schedule. The Department 
of State has no authority to set DHS fees, and any time DHS changes its 
fees, the Department of State updates those items. DHS lists these fees 
at 22 CFR 103.7(b)(1). As of June 18, 2010, these fees and their 
amounts were as follows:
     Filing immigrant visa petition: Petition to classify 
status of alien relative for issuance of immigrant visa (Item 31(a) on 
the Department of State Schedule of Fees; DHS Form I-130): $355.
     Filing immigrant visa petition: Petition to classify 
orphan as an immediate relative (Item 31(b) on the Department of State 
Schedule of Fees; DHS Form I-600): $670.
     Special visa services: Waiver of immigrant visa 
ineligibility (Item 35(d) on the Department of State Schedule of Fees; 
DHS Form I-601): $545.
    All CoSS estimates discussed below are based on projected workload 
for Fiscal Year 2010, and fees have been rounded to make them easier to 
collect, especially when converting from foreign currencies, which are 
most often used when paying for fees at posts abroad. This proposed 
rule also makes a conforming amendment to 22 CFR 51.51(d), which 
establishes the surcharge on the filing of each passport application in 
order to cover the costs of meeting the increased demand for passports 
as a result of actions taken to comply with section 7209(b) of the 
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Public Law 
108-458, 118 Stat. 3638 (reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1185 note).

Passport Book Application Services

    The Department is increasing the application fee for a passport 
book for an adult (age 16 and older) from $55 to $70. The application 
fee for a passport book for a minor (under age 16) will remain at $40. 
The CoSS calculated the cost of processing first-time passport 
applications for both adults and minors as $105.80, based on a 
projected FY 2010 workload of 11.9 million. This cost includes border 
security costs covered by the passport book security surcharge, 
discussed immediately below. Because a minor passport book has a 
validity of just five years, in contrast with the ten-year validity 
period of an adult passport book, the Department has decided to leave 
the minor passport book application fee at $40, and to allocate the 
remainder of the cost of processing minor passport book applications to 
the adult passport application fee.
    As described in 22 CFR 51.51(d), this fee incorporates the costs of 
meeting the increased demand for passports as a result of actions taken 
to comply with section 7209(b) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism 
Prevention Act of 2004, Public Law 108-458 (reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1185 
note). This portion of the application fee, which is embedded

[[Page 36525]]

within the fee and not charged separately or separately itemized in the 
Schedule of Fees, see 22 CFR 51.51(d) (noting absence of separate 
itemization), has increased from $20 to $22 per application based on 
increased costs related to new passport agencies serving border 
communities.

Passport Book Security Surcharge

    The Department is increasing the passport book security surcharge 
from $20 to $40 in order to cover the costs of increased border 
security which includes, but is not limited to, enhanced biometric 
features in the document itself. The passport book security surcharge 
is the same for adult passport books and for minor passport books.

Additional Passport Visa Pages

    In the past, the Department provided extra pages in a customer's 
passport, to which foreign countries' visas may then be affixed, at no 
charge. The CoSS found that the cost of the pages themselves, of having 
the pages placed in the book in a secure manner by trained personnel, 
and of completing the required security checks results in a cost to the 
U.S. Government of $82.48, based on a projected FY 2010 workload of 
218,000 applicants. Therefore, the Department will charge $82 for this 
service. The costs associated with adding additional visa pages to a 
passport book are described in greater detail in the supplementary 
notice, 75 FR 14111, 14113 (Mar. 24, 2010). Another alternative to 
additional visa pages is to request, at the time of applying for a 
passport, the larger 52-page passport book offered by the Department 
for travelers who anticipate that they will need more than 28 visa 
pages. Any passport applicant may request a larger book at the time of 
application for no additional fee. The Department will make information 
about this option more widely available to customers both domestically 
and overseas, to ensure that applicants are able to take advantage of 
it.

Passport Card Application Services

    The CoSS calculated that the cost of processing first-time 
applications for adult and minor passport cards is $77.59, based on an 
FY 2010 workload projection of 1.56 million cards, and that 
adjudication costs associated with a passport card are the same as 
those associated with a passport book. Nevertheless, the card is 
intended to be a substantially less expensive document than the 
passport book, for the convenience of citizens who live close to land 
borders and cross back and forth frequently. Therefore, the Department 
has decided only to raise the adult passport card application fee from 
$20 to $30, and the minor passport card application fee from $10 to 
$15. See 31 U.S.C. Sec.  9701(b)(2) (user charge based on cost, value 
to the recipient, public policy or interest served, and other relevant 
facts).
    As described in 22 CFR 51.51(d), this application fee incorporates 
the costs of meeting the increased demand for passports as a result of 
actions taken to comply with section 7209(b) of the Intelligence Reform 
and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Public Law 108-458 (reproduced at 
8 U.S.C. 1185 note). This portion of the fee, which is embedded within 
the fee and not charged separately or separately itemized in the 
Schedule of Fees, see 22 CFR 51.51(d) (noting absence of separate 
itemization), has increased from $20 to $22 for the adult passport card 
and from $10 to $15 for the minor passport card, and is based on 
increased costs related to new passport agencies serving border 
communities.

File Search and Verification of U.S. Citizenship

    When an applicant for a passport book or passport card does not 
present evidence of citizenship, the Department must verify his or her 
U.S. citizenship. The Department is raising the fee for this service 
from $60 to $150 based on the cost of providing the service, and notes 
that applicants can avoid paying this fee by providing adequate 
citizenship documentation when applying for a passport rather than to 
request costly, time-intensive research.

Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the 
United States

    The CoSS found that the cost of accepting and processing an 
application for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the 
United States is $197.28 based on an FY 2010 workload projection of 
80,000 applications. Based on that analysis, the Department is raising 
the fee from $65 to $100, still significantly less than cost, based on 
its view that too high a fee might deter U.S. citizen parents from 
properly documenting the citizenship of their children at birth, a 
development the Department feels would be detrimental to national 
interests. See 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)(2).

Documentation for Renunciation of Citizenship

    The CoSS demonstrated that documenting a U.S. citizen's 
renunciation of citizenship is extremely costly, requiring American 
consular officers overseas to spend substantial amounts of time to 
accept, process, and adjudicate cases. A new fee of $450 will be 
established to help defray a portion of the total cost to the U.S. 
Government of documenting the renunciation of citizenship. While the 
Department decided to set the fee at $450, this fee represents less 
than 25 percent of the cost to the U.S. Government. The Department has 
determined that it must recoup at least a portion of its costs of 
providing this very costly service but set the fee lower than the cost 
of service in order to lessen the impact on those who need this service 
and not discourage the utilization of the service, a development the 
Department feels would be detrimental to national interests. See 31 
U.S.C. 9701(b)(2).

Death and Estate Services

    The CoSS found that the average cost of assisting U.S. citizens in 
making arrangements for a deceased non-U.S. citizen family member 
abroad is $388.19 per case based on an FY 2010 workload projection of 
50,000 cases. The Department had previously charged a fee of $265 per 
hour, the then-applicable fee for consular time (discussed below), plus 
expenses. The Department has decided to set the new fee for death and 
estate services at significantly lower than costs--$200 plus expenses, 
per case--in order to assist bereaved families.

Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee

    In the past, the Department has charged a single application 
processing fee for processing an immigrant visa, regardless of 
category: $355. The Department has concluded, however, that it will be 
more equitable to set the fee for each immigrant visa category at a 
level commensurate with the average cost of producing that particular 
product. The CoSS found, however, that applications for certain 
immigrant visa categories cost more to process than others. 
Accordingly, the Department has created in the current Schedule of Fees 
a four-tiered immigrant visa application processing fee structure based 
on CoSS estimates for each discrete category of immigrant visa. The 
application fee for a family-based (immediate relative and preference) 
visa (processed on the basis of an I-130, I-600 or I-800 petition) will 
be $330. The application fee for an employment-based visa (processed on 
the basis of an I-140 petition) will be $720. Other immigrant visa 
applications (including for diversity visa applicants, I-360 self-
petitioners, special immigrant visa applicants, and all others) will 
have a fee of $305. As noted above, certain qualifying Iraqi and Afghan 
special

[[Page 36526]]

immigrant visa applicants are statutorily exempt from paying a 
processing fee. National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2008, Public Law 110-181, Div. A, Title XII, Sec.  1244(d) (reproduced 
at 11 U.S.C. 1157 note); Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, Public Law 
111-8, Div. F, Title VI, Sec.  602(b)(4) (reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1101 
note).

Immigrant Visa Security Surcharge

    The Department is increasing the immigrant visa security surcharge, 
which all applicants except those statutorily exempted must pay, from 
$45 to $74 to cover increased security costs as determined by the CoSS, 
including the costs of the enhanced security screening requirements 
associated with fingerprint collection which had previously been 
included in the immigrant visa application processing fee.

Diversity Visa Lottery Fee for Immigrant Visa Application

    The Department is raising the fee paid by winners of the Diversity 
Visa lottery who apply for immigrant visas from $375 to $440 based on 
CoSS estimates for an FY 2010 workload projection of 81,000 
applications. The Department has authority to collect the surcharge 
only from persons who are selected through the lottery process and 
therefore qualify to apply for a Diversity Visa, and to set it at a 
level sufficient to cover the entire cost of running the lottery. 
Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997, Public Law 104-208, Div. 
C, Title VI, Sec.  636 (reproduced at 8 U.S.C. 1153 note).

Affidavit of Support Review

    The Department charges the affidavit of support review fee for all 
affidavits of support reviewed at the National Visa Center in 
connection with an application for an immigrant visa. The purpose of 
the review is to ensure that each affidavit is properly completed 
before the National Visa Center forwards it to a consular post for 
adjudication. The Department is increasing the fee from $70 to $88 to 
reflect the increase in the cost of providing this service to immigrant 
visa applicants, as determined by the CoSS.

Determining Returning Resident Status

    The CoSS found that determining the status of persons who claim to 
be lawful permanent residents of the United States, but do not have 
documentation to prove this fact, has become less costly than before 
due to advances in automation making it easier to verify U.S. 
immigration status. As such, the Department will lower the fee from 
$400 to $380.

Providing Documentary Services

    The CoSS found the cost to the U.S. Government of providing 
documentary services overseas is $76.36 per service based on a 
projected FY 2010 workload of 380,000 services. These are primarily 
notarial services, certification of true copies, provision of 
documents, and authentications. However, the Department is raising 
these fees only from $30 to $50, lower than cost, in order to minimize 
the impact on the public. See 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)(2).

Processing Letters Rogatory and Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act 
Judicial Assistance Cases

    The CoSS found that the cost to the U.S. Government of processing 
letters rogatory and Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act judicial 
assistance cases is $2,274.59 based on a projected FY 2010 workload of 
1,400 services. The Department will accordingly raise the fee for these 
services to $2,275. The costs associated with processing letters 
rogatory and Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act judicial assistance cases 
are described in greater detail in the supplementary notice, 75 FR 
14111, 14113 (Mar. 24, 2010).

Taking Depositions or Executing Commissions To Take Testimony

    Several services fall under this heading, and fees for three of the 
services will be raised as a result of the CoSS's conclusions on the 
costs to the U.S. Government. The new fees appear in the Schedule of 
Fees below.

Consular Time Charges

    The Department previously charged a consular time fee of $265 per 
hour, per employee. The CoSS estimated that consular time charges for 
services performed away from the office or outside business hours now 
only costs $231 per hour, per employee. Therefore, the Department will 
lower this fee to $231 per hour.

Analysis of Comments

    As noted, the proposed rule was published for comment on February 
9, 2010. During the comment period, which initially closed March 11, 
2010, and was subsequently extended for an additional 15-day period 
ending April 8, 2010, the Department received 1,797 comments.
    The majority of the comments received (1,271) expressed concern 
about the increase in the passport book fees. Two hundred and twenty-
eight commenters cited the current economic climate as a reason to not 
increase fees or requested that the Department wait until the economy 
improves. The American Automobile Association (AAA) commented regarding 
the possibility of citizens being deterred from purchasing a passport 
or processing a renewal and how this would affect the travel business. 
AAA recognized the need of the Department to cover its costs, but 
suggested the changes be delayed until the nation shows further signs 
of economic recovery. The American Association of Travel Agents (AATA) 
described the increase in fees as being at ``cross-purposes'' with 
efforts to stimulate business and adding costs to AATA's business. 
Furthering its point, AATA argued that contrary to popular belief, 
international travel generates revenue for American businesses. Rather 
than arguing for no fee increases whatsoever, AATA requests that the 
increases not be as great as proposed, in order to encourage travel 
during an economic recession. Finally, United Air Lines, Inc., and the 
U.S. Travel Association submitted a joint comment underscoring that the 
change to the passport fee may deter international travel by U.S. 
citizens and will represent as a substantial increase in costs to their 
businesses as United Air Lines pays for the U.S. passports of its crew 
members.
    While the Department of State is aware of the financial impact this 
fee increase may have on individuals and businesses, its passport 
processing operations must be self-sustaining to the extent possible, 
and it has accordingly set these fees at a level that will allow cost 
recovery--and not more. The Department also maintains that the increase 
in passport fees is not significant in comparison with the overall 
costs of international travel.
    One comment, submitted jointly by the Identity Project, the 
Consumer Travel Alliance, the Center for Financial Privacy and Human 
Rights, and John Gilmore (collectively, ``Identity Project''), 
suggested that the Department ``should stop including RFID chips in 
passports and passport cards, instead of increasing the fees to cover 
the costs of RFID chips.'' Identity Project suggested that it would be 
``more secure for passport holders'' and called the chips ``a 
surveillance and control feature, not a security feature.'' While such 
comments are not directly relevant to the fees proposed in this rule, 
the Department would offer that the purpose of such chips is to provide 
instant confirmation of, or a link to, electronic records that confirm 
the document has not been altered and is in fact a genuine U.S. 
passport document;

[[Page 36527]]

their purpose is not to permit the ``surveillance'' of passport 
holders. The comment also insisted that passport requirements, such as 
the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative--particularly the requirement 
of a passport book or card to enter and leave the United States--
violate the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens, including the 
right to assemble and the right to petition for redress of grievances. 
The comment suggests that the Department should consider ``rescinding 
or amending the WHTI regulations.'' Yet the change in passport fees 
covered by this rule does not have an impact in this arena. The 
Identity Project fails to recognize that WHTI was mandated by Congress, 
and its requirements--including the requirement of a passport book or 
card to enter or leave the United States--cannot be undone by the 
Department. The Identity Project concluded that ``the Department should 
eliminate RFID chips from passport books and cards, and eliminate the 
requirement for U.S. citizens to have or display a passport or other 
government-issued credential as a prerequisite to the exercise of their 
Constitutional and international treaty rights to depart from, and 
return to, U.S. territory, by any means and to or from any other 
country or territory, or to or from international waters or airspace.'' 
Those aims are quite clearly outside the scope of this rule, which 
merely modifies the fees charged to applicants for passport books and 
cards.
    Two commenters, including the Identity Project, questioned how the 
Department decided to deviate from CoSS findings to keep the passport 
card fee artificially low, below cost.
    One of those comments urged the Department to identify and apply a 
consistent standard to govern deviations from full-cost principles. The 
Department does apply such a standard. Where the Department believes 
that the provision of a given overseas citizens service is important, 
yet setting the fee above a certain amount will deter U.S. citizens 
overseas from taking advantage of it, the Department may make a policy 
decision to offer the service at a reduced fee or at no fee. The 
Department bases its estimate of the level at which U.S. citizens will 
be deterred from taking advantage of the service by undertaking 
extensive consultations with experienced consular officers and senior 
Department managers. Included among these services are the Consular 
Report of Birth Abroad (as explained elsewhere in this rule), 
documenting renunciation of citizenship, and death and estate services. 
Also included are several no-fee emergency services provided to U.S. 
citizens in peril abroad or otherwise in an emergency situation. The 
Department may also make a decision to set a given fee below cost where 
the cost to the Department of providing the service is considerably 
higher than comparable services in the United States, because the 
overhead and support costs of operating overseas are much greater than 
if the services were performed in the United States, such as notarial 
services. See 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)(2) (user charge based on cost, value to 
the recipient, public policy or interest served, and other relevant 
facts).
    Those commenters who argued that the Department sets the passport 
card fee at an arbitrarily low level have, in the Department's view, 
misconceived the purpose of the passport card, as articulated by 
Congress. Members of Congress have indicated that the price of a 
passport card should remain low compared to that of a passport book, in 
order not to discourage American citizens who live near the nation's 
land borders from crossing on a regular basis for a number of reasons, 
including commerce, tourism and visiting family. In accordance with 
this preference, the Department has determined that the cost of a 
passport card should remain at the level established in this interim 
final rule, even though the adjudication and production process for 
passport cards is roughly the same as for passport books, and thus the 
U.S. Government's costs are roughly the same. Another reason the price 
of a passport card is lower than that of a passport book is that the 
card omits the costs of no-fee overseas citizens services, since 
travelers using the card are likely to be on relatively brief cross-
border trips such that most emergencies would be handled by travelers 
relying on family members and services in the United States; such costs 
are, however, included in the fee for the passport book. Twelve 
comments addressed the increased cost of the passport cards directly, 
but without articulating a specific concern other than the price 
increase.
    One hundred sixteen comments addressed the fact that individuals 
could be deterred from purchasing a passport book with the intention of 
using it to cross the Canadian or Mexican borders for travel and/or 
business, due to the higher price of the book compared to the card. In 
separate letters to Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton, 
Congressman Brian Higgins and Congressman Christopher Lee of New York 
expressed concern that the increase in the price of passport books 
would make them less affordable for the average American citizen, and 
would discourage citizens from conducting cross-border commerce. As 
noted above, the Department does not believe that individuals will be 
deterred by the increased price of a passport from engaging in cross-
border travel. Moreover, for those who desire a less expensive product, 
the passport card is available for cross-border land travel. As 
explained, the Department has made the price of a passport card lower 
than the cost associated with producing and adjudicating such cards 
largely to ameliorate the impact of the Western Hemisphere Travel 
Initiative's passport requirement on those living near our borders with 
Canada and Mexico who cross frequently for a number of reasons 
including commerce and visiting family. By keeping the card fee low, 
cross-border business and travel is still a possibility without the 
need to purchase the passport book at a higher price.
    A handful of authors suggested means for encouraging the purchase 
of passports by introducing certain programs such as non-profit 
business discounts, family discounts for multiple purchasing, and 
special senior citizen or student rates. As noted at several points 
above, the Department sets its consular fees with the objective of full 
cost recovery, though in some circumstances--such as with some overseas 
citizen services whose costs are allocated to fees for passport books--
the Department has made a decision to set the fees lower than the full 
cost of providing that particular service. In future fee-setting 
exercises, the Department will consider this proposal for additional 
services for which the fee for a particular service is below the cost 
of providing that service. A comment from the National Association of 
Passport and Visa Services (NAPV) requested that the Department allow 
issuance of two passport books to a single individual for frequent 
travelers: a regular ten-year-validity book, and another book with a 
two-year period of validity. The second passport would allow 
individuals to continue to travel internationally on one passport while 
allowing them to submit the second passport to foreign governments for 
visas for future travel, thereby accommodating the requirement of many 
governments that passports be physically relinquished to their 
embassies in order for the latter to process and affix the visa. NAPV 
suggested a lower price point for the second passport book, but 
according to the CoSS, the cost of printing and adjudication of such a 
passport would be the same regardless of the length of time the second 
book would be valid. NAPV suggests a limited cost recovery

[[Page 36528]]

solution to a problem, which it admits applies to only ``a select group 
of frequent business travelers and airline pilots.'' The Department 
does not believe that given the limited number of beneficiaries, the 
proposal justifies charging below the full cost for these two-year 
passport books and assigning the difference to the price of 10-year 
passport books.
    Twenty-two of the comments expressed support for the proposed fee 
changes in order to provide added security to American citizens, travel 
documents, and increase the level of service provided by the 
Department.
    Two hundred and thirty-seven comments were received regarding the 
fee for additional passport visa pages. Most writers expressed concern 
that a once-free service will now cost $82. The majority of those who 
commented said they were business professionals who are required to 
travel frequently for their jobs, and questioned how inserting pages 
into a passport book could cost so much. Yet as explained in the 
supplementary notice, 75 FR 14111, 14113, the cost of that service 
includes not only the pages themselves, the employee time spent 
affixing the pages into a passport, endorsing the passport, and 
performing a quality-control check on the expanded passport; but also 
the costs of trained labor, supervisors, and overhead; of performing a 
name check of the applicant prior to providing the service, and a share 
of the overall costs of no-fee emergency services provided to Americans 
overseas--costs incorporated into and assigned across all passport book 
services. The Department does offer a larger passport for travelers who 
anticipate that they will need more visa pages. Any passport applicant 
may request a larger book (52 pages, instead of the standard 28) at the 
time of application for no additional fee. The Department will make 
information about this option more widely available to customers both 
domestically and overseas, to ensure that applicants are able to take 
advantage of it.
    Over one hundred comments requested that the Department raise the 
execution fee for passports (Item 1 on the Schedule of Fees). Those who 
commented are predominantly county clerks from border states whose 
offices serve as passport acceptance agencies along with the U.S. 
Postal Service (USPS). In total, the Department partners with 
approximately 9,400 acceptance agencies, the majority of which are U.S. 
Post Offices. The execution fee was lowered in 2008 from $30 to $25, 
and remains at $25 in the current Schedule of Fees. Most of these 
comments stated that the current $25 does not cover the facilities' 
existing costs, citing in particular the increased costs associated 
with the institution of a requirement in 2009 that traceable mail be 
used to forward all applications to the Department for processing. The 
Department arrived at the current fee of $25 based on a unit cost 
agreed upon by USPS and the Department's Consular Affairs Passport 
Services Office in 2008. The Department is willing to review and, if 
necessary, set a new amount for the execution fee, but will do so based 
on actual cost data. The Department will engage with USPS and its other 
acceptance agency partners in the coming year to update existing cost 
estimates for performing this service, and will analyze whether a fee 
increase is warranted.
    Twenty comments addressed the fee for documentary services, 
generally expressing the concern that the fees the Department charges 
for notarial services overseas are far greater than the fees banks and 
other offices charge for such services domestically. The costs of 
performing such services overseas--by expatriate staff, in secure 
buildings--is in fact higher than it might be at a U.S. bank. Despite 
the increase, the cost to the Department of providing these services is 
still greater than is being charged to the public, as explained in the 
section entitled ``Providing Documentary Services'' in the 
supplementary information above.
    One comment questioned whether the increase of the fee for 
processing letters rogatory was reasonable. This individual agreed with 
the increase in passport book fees and described them--incorrectly--as 
a routine increase fostered by the recent backlog and demand for the 
document. With regard to the fee for processing letters rogatory, 
however, the commenter was concerned whether the fee would be too 
financially burdensome on those who need such services and must pay for 
them. Yet letter rogatory services are complex and time-consuming, 
generally stretching over months and requiring a considerable amount of 
consular time and resources. Some of the activities involved in 
performing letter rogatory services are described in the supplementary 
notice, 75 FR 14111, 14113. These services are relatively infrequent--
there were only 449 performed in FY 2008, the last base year used in 
the CoSS--and the requests are varied, covering both criminal and civil 
matters ranging from family law to business litigation. The fee for 
this service is also generally minor compared to the overall expenses 
related to litigation. Moreover, the Department provides information to 
the public on alternative methods of seeking judicial assistance and 
actively recommends international conventions on judicial assistance, 
such as the Hague Service and Evidence Conventions, for the 
consideration of countries that are not yet parties to these 
agreements. The United States has treaty relationships concerning 
judicial assistance with over 70 countries, and the number of countries 
that do not have alternative procedures to the letters rogatory 
procedure is small. The impact of the price increase for these services 
will therefore be limited in scope.
    Several authors claimed that the increase in the cost of the 
application for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) of a citizen 
of the United States will deter American citizens from declaring the 
birth of children born abroad. The fee is substantially less than the 
cost, $100 compared to a cost of $197.28. The Department decided to 
charge less than cost precisely to prevent American citizens from being 
deterred from declaring the birth of a child while overseas which would 
be detrimental to national interests. Two commenters in a joint 
submission complained that the Department has failed to provide data to 
support its concern that too high a CRBA fee might deter U.S. citizen 
parents from properly documenting their child's birth. As discussed 
above, the Department based this determination on its extensive 
experience in the area. Moreover, a situation of undocumented birth 
often creates serious problems for the child in the future when he or 
she attempts to prove his or her citizenship for purposes of acquiring 
a U.S. passport or obtaining another benefit of U.S. citizenship. For 
these reasons, the Department has made a policy decision to keep the 
CRBA fee as affordable as possible, even though the cost to the U.S. 
Government of processing a CRBA is higher than $100. See 31 U.S.C. 
9701(b)(2). Other CRBA-related comments cited challenges regarding the 
exchange rate affecting the cost of this service and the lack of need 
should the child qualify for citizenship of the nation of residence. 
With respect to the latter submission, while the Department encourages 
parents to document the birth of a U.S. citizen--including one who 
holds another country's citizenship as well--whether parents choose to 
do so is at their discretion.
    Some commenters argued that the fee for documentation for 
renunciation of citizenship--$450--is too costly, especially since that 
service has heretofore been provided at no charge. The Department has 
determined that it must recoup at least a portion of its

[[Page 36529]]

costs of providing this very costly service. In order to lessen the 
impact on those who need this service and not discourage the 
utilization of the service, the Department decided to set the fee at 
$450, less than 25 percent of the cost to the U.S. Government. See 31 
U.S.C. 9701(b)(2).
    Seven comments, including the previously referenced joint comment 
from United Air Lines and the U.S. Travel Association, requested more 
information on the Cost of Service Study itself. In response, the 
Department published the supplementary notice of March 24, 2010, see 75 
FR 14111, and allowed an additional 15 days for public comment. The 
Department received one further comment from United Airlines and the 
U.S. Travel Association, on April 8, 2010, within the 15-day period. 
That comment made an additional request for actual cost and related 
data and specifically requested: Specific inputs used to determine cost 
for the U.S. passport book and passport card; that the Department 
confirm how the CoSS ensured that administrative support costs were 
correctly attributed to individual consular services and that these 
costs for positions not dedicated to fee-based consular activities were 
excluded from the CoSS; and that the Department confirm whether the 
CoSS accounted for the transition to the DS-160 electronic nonimmigrant 
visa application. United Air Lines and the U.S. Travel Association also 
requested that the Department suspend final publication of the rules, 
release additional data supporting its proposed fee increases, and hold 
a public meeting to address questions from the public.
    Concerning the request for specific inputs used to determine the 
cost for the U.S. passport book and card, such data sets are being 
published in the Federal Register together with this rule. With regard 
to the question of administrative support costs and the DS-160, the 
Department has addressed those concerns of United and the U.S. Travel 
Association in the interim final rule concerning MRV and BCC fees, at 
75 FR 28188 (May 20, 2010), and directs the reader to the discussion 
there.
    Based on a review of all the comments, the Department has 
determined that it is unnecessary to suspend publication of this 
interim final rule pending release of additional data or a public 
meeting, though it will provide an additional post-promulgation comment 
period of 60 days, and will consider any comments received prior to 
publishing the rule in final form. As explained above, the Department 
has provided information regarding the basis for the fee changes in the 
notice of proposed rulemaking on February 9, 2010, provided significant 
additional information in response to the requests of United Air Lines, 
the U.S. Travel Association, and others in a supplemental notice dated 
March 24, 2010. The Department has provided the public a total of 45 
days in which to make comments concerning the proposed fee changes. The 
Department determined that a supplemental written notice would provide 
more useful information and reach a broader public audience than a 
public meeting.

Regulatory Findings

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department is issuing this interim final rule with an effective 
date 15 days from the date of publication. The Administrative Procedure 
Act permits a final rule to become effective fewer than 30 days after 
the publication if the issuing agency finds good cause. 5 U.S.C. 
553(d)(3). The Department finds that good cause exists for an early 
effective date in this instance for the following reasons.
    As stated in the supplementary information above, the Department's 
mandate is to align as closely as possible its user fees for consular 
services with the actual, measured costs of those services. This 
enables better cost recovery and ensures that U.S. taxpayers do not 
subsidize consular services. 31 U.S.C. 9701; OMB Circular A-25. See 
also GAO-08-386SP, Federal User Fees: A Design Guide. The CoSS, which 
supports the fees set by this rule, used data from past years, as well 
as predictive data for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011, to determine the 
amount of the fees set by this rule. The fees currently charged by the 
Department cover less than 73 percent of the underlying services' true 
cost. On a monthly basis, taxpayers are paying $23.9 million in unmet 
costs for consular services that should be borne by those who actually 
benefit from those services. In the current economic climate, this 
shortfall is unusually grave, exacerbating budgetary pressures and 
threatening other critical Department priorities. It is thus in the 
public's interest to make the appropriated funds currently used to fill 
this gap available as soon as possible.
    For these reasons, and because the public's level of preparation 
for this fee increase is unlikely to be meaningfully improved by 15 
additional days of advance warning, the Department finds that good 
cause exists for making this rule effective after 15 days of its 
publication as an interim final rule.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 
5 U.S.C. 605(b), has reviewed this rule and, by approving it, certifies 
that the proposed rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined in 
5 U.S.C. 601(6). This rule raises the application and processing fee 
for passports, immigrant visas, and American citizen services. The 
Department of State estimates that the agency will process 16,000 total 
employment-based immigrant visa applications, all of which fall into 
the E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4, and E-5 categories. (Note: The Department of 
Homeland Security processes domestic adjustment of status for 
approximately 90 percent of all employment-based immigrants; cases 
processed domestically do not pay Department of State fees.) The 
issuance of some ``E'' category employment-based immigrant visas may be 
contingent upon approval by DHS of a petition filed by a United States 
company, and these companies pay a fee to DHS to cover the processing 
of the petition. The amount of the petition fees that are paid by small 
entities to DHS is not controlled by the amount of the visa fees paid 
by individuals to the Department of State. The visa itself is sought 
and the application processing fees are paid for by an individual 
foreign national overseas who seeks to immigrate to the United States. 
The Department of State does not track applications for employment-
based visas by the size and nature of the petitioning businesses, and 
therefore cannot identify the share of this impact on the small 
businesses versus large businesses. While some employers may choose to 
reimburse application costs, small businesses are not required by law 
to reimburse the individuals, and therefore no small businesses will be 
impacted. Additionally, while small entities sometimes pay judicial 
service fees if required for legal matters with foreign companies, they 
do so in very limited circumstances and in small numbers. For instance, 
worldwide in FY 2009, embassies and consulates arranged only 123 
depositions and processed only 156 letters rogatory.

Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by state, local and 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $1 
million or more in any year and it will not significantly or uniquely 
affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary 
under the provisions of the

[[Page 36530]]

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1501-1504.

Executive Order 13175

    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.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996/
Congressional Review Act

    As required by 5 U.S.C. 801, the Department will submit to Congress 
a report regarding the issuance of this interim final rule. The report 
will state that it has been determined that the interim final rule is a 
``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). As noted in the 
discussion regarding the Administrative Procedure Act, and for the same 
reasons, the Department finds good cause that the effective date of 
this major rule be fifteen days after its publication as an interim 
final rule, since an additional 60-day delay in the effective date is 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest. 5 U.S.C. 808(2).

Executive Order 12866

    OMB considers this rule to be an economically significant 
regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f)(1), 
Regulatory Planning and Review, Sept. 30, 1993, because it is likely to 
have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. 58 Fed. 
Reg. 51735. This rule is necessary in light of the Department of 
State's CoSS finding that the cost of processing passports and 
immigrant visas and of providing other consular services has generally 
increased since the fees were last set. The Department is setting the 
fees in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 9701 and other applicable authority, 
as described in more detail above. See, e.g., 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)(2)(A) 
(``The head of each agency * * * may prescribe regulations establishing 
the charge for a service or thing of value provided by the agency * * * 
based on * * * the costs to the Government.''); OMB Circular A-25, ] 
6(a)(2)(a). This regulation sets the fees for passports, immigrant 
visas, and other consular services at the amount required to recover 
the costs associated with providing the service in question, as 
explained in the preamble.
    Accordingly, this rule has been submitted to OMB for review.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                            Consequent
                                                                                                                         Number of fees   total increase
             Item                   Proposed fee           Current fee          Change in fee     Percentage  increase    collected in       in fees
                                                                                                                              FY09        assuming FY09
                                                                                                                                            workloads
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2(a). Passport Book            $70..................  $55.................  $15.................  27%.................        9,207,088     $138,106,320
 Application Services for
 Applicants age 16 or over
 (including renewals).
2(c). Additional passport      82...................  0...................  82..................  undefined...........          207,810       17,040,420
 visa pages.
2(g). Passport Book Security   40...................  20..................  20..................  100.................       11,935,556      238,711,120
 Surcharge.
6. File search and             150..................  60..................  90..................  150.................           11,192        1,007,280
 verification of U.S.
 citizenship.
7. Application for Consular    100..................  65..................  35..................  54..................           58,198        2,036,930
 Report of Birth Abroad of a
 Citizen of the United States.
8. Documentation of formal     450..................  0...................  450.................  undefined...........            1,188          534,600
 renunciation of U.S.
 citizenship.
9(a). Passport Card            30...................  20..................  10..................  50..................        1,196,078       11,960,780
 Application Services for
 Applicants age 16 or over
 (including renewals).
9(b). Passport Card            15...................  10..................  5...................  50..................          354,451        1,772,255
 Application Services for
 Applicants under age 16.
14(b). Making arrangements     200 plus expenses....  Consular time (Item   -65 per hour........  -25 per hour........              426          -27,690
 for a deceased non-U.S.                               75) plus expenses.
 citizen family member.
32(a). Immigrant visa          330..................  355.................  -25.................  -7..................          500,732      -12,518,300
 application processing for
 immediate relative and
 family preference
 applications.
32(b). Immigrant visa          720..................  355.................  365.................  103.................           16,691        6,092,215
 application processing for
 employment-based
 applications.
32(c). Immigrant visa          305..................  355.................  -50.................  -14.................           58,131       -2,906,550
 application processing for
 other visa classes.
33. Diversity Visa Lottery     440..................  375.................  65..................  17..................           53,490        3,476,850
 fee.
34. Affidavit of Support       88...................  70..................  18..................  26..................          311,038        5,598,684
 Review.
35(a). Determining Returning   380..................  400.................  -20.................  -5..................            1,611          -32,220
 Resident Status.
36. Immigrant visa security    74...................  45..................  29..................  64..................          575,554       16,691,066
 surcharge.
41(a). Providing notarial      50...................  30..................  20..................  67..................          128,818        2,576,360
 service: First service.
41(b). Providing notarial      50...................  20..................  30..................  150.................           60,782        1,823,460
 service: Each additional
 seal.

[[Page 36531]]

 
42(a). Certification of a      50...................  30..................  20..................  67..................           15,611          312,220
 true copy or that no record
 of an official file can be
 located: First copy.
42(b). Certification of a      50...................  20..................  30..................  150.................            3,099           92,970
 true copy or that no record
 of an official file can be
 located: Each additional
 copy.
43(a-f). Provision of          50...................  30..................  20..................  67..................           29,425          588,500
 documents, certified copies
 of documents, and other
 certifications by the
 Department of State
 (domestic).
44. Authentications (44a-d)..  50...................  30..................  20..................  67..................           18,863          377,260
51. Processing letters         2,275................  735.................  1,540...............  210.................              156          240,240
 rogatory and Foreign
 Sovereign Immunities Act
 (FSIA) judicial assistance
 cases.
52(a). Scheduling/arranging    1,283................  475.................  808.................  170.................              123           99,384
 appointments for depositions.
52(b). Attending or taking     309 per hour plus      265 per hour plus     44 per hour.........  17..................               38            1,672
 depositions, or executing      expenses.              expenses.
 commissions to take
 testimony.
52(e). Providing seal and      415..................  70..................  345.................  493.................               16            5,520
 certification of depositions.
75. Consular time charges....  231..................  265.................  -34.................  -13.................               70           -2,380
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Details of the proposed fee changes are as follows:
    The Department of State does not anticipate that demand for 
passport, immigrant visa, and other services affected by this rule will 
change significantly due to these fee changes.
    With regard to immigrant visas, many categories are numerically 
capped; these caps artificially limit workload and keep current demand 
fairly stable. In FY 2009, the Department issued all available 
immigrant visas in employment-based categories (capped at 140,000 
including adjustments of status processed domestically by the 
Department of Homeland Security). In FY 2009, the Department issued 96 
percent of the immigrant visas available under the Diversity Visa 
program (capped at 50,000 including adjustments of status processed 
domestically by the Department of Homeland Security). Also in FY 2009, 
the Department issued 96 percent of the immigrant visas available for 
family-preference categories (capped at 226,000 including adjustments 
of status processed domestically by the Department of Homeland 
Security). When fewer visas were issued than were available under the 
numerical cap, it was generally due to administrative processing issues 
rather than lack of demand. There are nearly 3.5 million applicants 
currently awaiting numerically controlled visas, sufficient to fill 
more than eight years' workload at the current annual caps. It is 
reasonable to expect that the immigrant visa workload for FY 2010 and 
FY 2011 will remain about the same as FY 2009. These estimates do not 
take into account variables that the Department cannot predict at this 
time, such as legislative changes.
    With regard to passports, the Department does not believe that 
passport application fees are a significant determining factor when 
Americans decide to travel internationally. The price of a passport 
book or card remains minimal in comparison with other costs associated 
with foreign travel. For example, taxes and surcharges alone on an 
international airfare can easily surpass $100, and many airlines charge 
substantial fees for checking bags. As a result, the Department does 
not believe passport demand will be significantly affected by increases 
of the size proposed. In addition, the Western Hemisphere Travel 
Initiative has now been fully implemented, and there is no new 
regulatory impetus for passport demand on the horizon; passport demand 
is expected to remain relatively stable in the near term.

Executive Orders 12372 and 13132

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the 
states, on the relationship between the national government and the 
states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 
of Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have 
sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant 
the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The 
regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do 
not apply to this regulation.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose or alter any reporting or recordkeeping 
requirements.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Parts 22 and 51

    Consular services, Fees, Passports and visas.

0
Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the preamble, 22 CFR part 22 and 
part 51 are amended as follows:

PART 22--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 22 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  8 U.S.C. 1101 note, 1153 note, 1183a note, 1351, 
1351 note, 1714, 1714 note; 10 U.S.C. 2602(c); 11 U.S.C. 1157 note; 
22 U.S.C. 214, 214 note, 1475e, 2504(a), 4201, 4206, 4215, 4219, 
6551; 31 U.S.C. 9701; Exec.

[[Page 36532]]

Order 10718, 22 FR 4632; Exec. Order 11295, 31 FR 10603.


0
2. Revise Sec.  22.1 to read as follows:


Sec.  22.1  Schedule of fees.

    The following table sets forth the U.S. Department of State's 
Schedule of Fees for Consular Services:

                 Schedule of Fees for Consular Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Item No.                                Fee
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Passport and Citizenship Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Passport Book or Card Execution: Required for  $25.
 first-time applicants and others who must apply
 in person (Applicants applying for both the
 book and card simultaneously on the same
 application pay only one execution fee.).
2. Passport Book Application Services for:
    (a) Applicants age 16 or over (including      $70.
     renewals).
    (b) Applicants under age 16.................  $40.
    (c) Additional passport visa pages..........  82.
    (d) Passport book replacement for name        NO FEE.
     change if submitted within one year of
     passport issuance.
    (e) Passport book replacement for passport    NO FEE.
     book limited in validity if submitted
     within one year of passport issuance.
     (Passport books limited in validity because
     of multiple losses, thefts, damage, or
     mutilations cannot be replaced).
    (f) Passport book replacement for data        NO FEE.
     correction (name, date of birth, place of
     birth, sex printed erroneously) if
     submitted within one year of passport
     issuance.
    (g) Passport Book Security Surcharge          $40.
     (Enhanced Border Security Fee).
3. Expedited service: Passport processing within  $60.
 the expedited processing period published on
 the Department's website (see 22 CFR 51.56(b))
 and/or in-person service at a U.S. Passport
 Agency (not applicable abroad).
4. Exemptions: The following applicants are
 exempted from all passport fees listed in Item
 2 above:
    (a) Officers or employees of the United       NO FEE.
     States and their immediate family members
     (22 U.S.C. 214) and Peace Corps Volunteers
     and Leaders (22 U.S.C. 2504(h)) proceeding
     abroad or returning to the United States in
     the discharge of their official duties.
    (b) U.S. citizen seamen who require a         NO FEE.
     passport in connection with their duties
     aboard an American flag vessel (22 U.S.C.
     214(a)).
    (c) Widows, children, parents, or siblings    NO FEE.
     of deceased members of the Armed Forces
     proceeding abroad to visit the graves of
     such members (22 U.S.C. 214(a)).
    (d) Employees of the American National Red    NO FEE.
     Cross proceeding abroad as members of the
     Armed Forces of the United States (10
     U.S.C. 2602(c)).
5. Travel Letter: Provided in rare, life-or-      NO FEE unless consular
 death situations as an emergency accommodation    time charges (Item
 to a U.S. citizen returning to the United         75) apply.
 States when the consular officer is unable to
 issue a passport book.
6. File search and verification of U.S.           $150.
 citizenship: When applicant has not presented
 evidence of citizenship and previous records
 must be searched (except for an applicant
 abroad whose passport was stolen or lost abroad
 or when one of the exemptions is applicable).
7. Application for Consular Report of Birth       $100.
 Abroad of a Citizen of the United States.
8. Documentation of formal renunciation of U.S.   $450.
 citizenship.
9. Passport Card Application Services for:
    (a) Applicants age 16 or over (including      $30.
     renewals) [Adult Passport Card].
    (b) Applicants under age 16 [Minor Passport   $15.
     Card].
    (c) Passport card replacement for name        NO FEE.
     change if submitted within one year of
     passport issuance.
    (d) Passport card replacement for data        NO FEE.
     correction (name, date of birth, place of
     birth, sex printed erroneously) if
     submitted within one year of passport
     issuance.
(Item 10 vacant.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Overseas Citizens Services
          Arrests, Welfare and Whereabouts and Related Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
11. Arrest and prison visits....................  NO FEE.
12. Assistance regarding the welfare and          NO FEE.
 whereabouts of a U.S. Citizen, including child
 custody inquiries and processing of
 repatriation and emergency dietary assistance
 loans.
(Item 13 vacant.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Death and Estate Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
14. Assistance to next-of-kin:
    (a) After the death of a U.S. citizen abroad  NO FEE.
     (providing assistance in disposition of
     remains, making arrangements for shipping
     remains, issuing Consular Mortuary
     Certificate, and providing up to 20
     original Consular Reports of Death).
    (b) Making arrangements for a deceased non-   $200 plus expenses.
     U.S. citizen family member (providing
     assistance in shipping or other disposition
     of remains of a non-U.S. Citizen).
15. Issuance of Consular Mortuary Certificate on  $60.
 behalf of a non-U.S. Citizen.
16. Acting as a provisional conservator of
 estates of U.S. Citizens:
    (a) Taking possession of personal effects;    NO FEE.
     making an inventory under an official seal
     (unless significant time and/or expenses
     incurred).
    (b) Overseeing the appraisal, sale, and       NO FEE.
     final disposition of the estate, including
     disbursing funds, forwarding securities,
     etc. (unless significant time and/or
     expenses incurred).

[[Page 36533]]

 
    (c) For services listed in Item 16(a) or (b)  Consular time (Item
     when significant time and/or expenses are     75) plus expenses.
     incurred.
(Items 17 through 20 vacant.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Nonimmigrant Visa Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
21. Nonimmigrant visa application and border
 crossing card processing fees (per person):
    (a) Non-petition-based nonimmigrant visa      $140.
     (except E category).
    (b) H, L, O, P, Q and R category              $150.
     nonimmigrant visa.
    (c) E category nonimmigrant visa............  $390.
    (d) K category nonimmigrant visa............  $350.
    (e) Border crossing card--age 15 and over     $140.
     (valid 10 years).
    (f) Border crossing card--under age 15; for   $14.
     Mexican citizens if parent or guardian has
     or is applying for a border crossing card
     (valid 10 years or until the applicant
     reaches age 15, whichever is sooner).
22. EXEMPTIONS from nonimmigrant visa
 application processing fee:
    (a) Applicants for A, G, C-3, NATO and        NO FEE.
     diplomatic visas as defined in 22 CFR 41.26.
    (b) Applicants for J visas participating in   NO FEE.
     official U.S. Government-sponsored
     educational and cultural exchanges.
    (c) Replacement Machine-Readable Visa when    NO FEE.
     the original visa was not properly affixed
     or needs to be reissued through no fault of
     the applicant.
    (d) Applicants exempted by international      NO FEE.
     agreement as determined by the Department,
     including members and staff of an observer
     mission to United Nations Headquarters
     recognized by the UN General Assembly, and
     their immediate families.
    (e) Applicants traveling to provide           NO FEE.
     charitable services as determined by the
     Department.
    (f) U.S. Government employees traveling on    NO FEE.
     official business.
    (g) A parent, sibling, spouse, or child of a  NO FEE.
     U.S. Government employee killed in the line
     of duty who is traveling to attend the
     employee's funeral and/or burial; or a
     parent, sibling, spouse, son, or daughter
     of a U.S. Government employee critically
     injured in the line of duty for visitation
     during emergency treatment and
     convalescence.
23. Nonimmigrant visa issuance fee, including     RECIPROCAL.
 border-crossing cards (Reciprocity Fee).
24. EXEMPTIONS from nonimmigrant visa issuance
 fee:
    (a) An official representative of a foreign   NO FEE.
     government or an international or regional
     organization of which the U.S. is a member;
     members and staff of an observer mission to
     United Nations Headquarters recognized by
     the UN General Assembly; and applicants for
     diplomatic visas as defined under Item
     22(a); and their immediate families.
    (b) An applicant transiting to and from the   NO FEE.
     United Nations Headquarters.
    (c) An applicant participating in a U.S.      NO FEE.
     Government-sponsored program.
    (d) An applicant traveling to provide         NO FEE.
     charitable services as determined by the
     Department.
25. Fraud prevention and detection fee for visa   $500.
 applicant included in L blanket petition
 (principal applicant only).
(Items 26 through 30 vacant.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Immigrant and Speical Visa Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
31. Filing immigrant visa petition (collected
 for USCIS and subject to change)
    (a) Petition to classify status of alien      For fee amount, see 8
     relative for issuance of immigrant visa.      CFR 103.7(b)(1).
    (b) Petition to classify orphan as an         For fee amount, see 8
     immediate relative.                           CFR 103.7(b)(1).
32. Immigrant visa application processing fee
 (per person)
    (a) Immediate relative and family preference  $330.
     applications.
    (b) Employment-based applications...........  $720.
    (c) Other immigrant visa applications         $305.
     (including Diversity Visa applicants, I-360
     self-petitioners, special immigrant visa
     applicants).
    (d) Certain Iraqi and Afghan special          NO FEE.
     immigrant visa applications (per 8 U.S.C.
     1101 note; 11 U.S.C. 1157 note).
33. Diversity Visa Lottery fee (per person        $440.
 applying as a result of the lottery program).
34. Affidavit of Support Review (only when        $88.
 reviewed domestically).
35. Special visa services:
    (a) Determining Returning Resident Status...  $380.
    (b) Transportation letter for Legal           $165.
     Permanent Residents of the United States.
    (c) Waiver of two-year residency requirement  $215.
    (d) Waiver of immigrant visa ineligibility    For fee amount, see 8
     (collected for USCIS and subject to change).  CFR 103.7(b)(1).
    (e) Refugee or significant public benefit     NO FEE.
     parole case processing.
36. Immigrant visa security surcharge...........  $74.
 (Items 37 through 40 vacant.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Documentary Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
41. Providing notarial service:
    (a) First service (seal)....................  $50.
    (b) Each additional seal provided at the      $50.
     same time in connection with the same
     transaction.

[[Page 36534]]

 
42. Certification of a true copy or that no
 record of an official file can be located (by a
 post abroad):
    (a) First Copy..............................  $50.
    (b) Each additional copy provided at the      $50.
     same time.
43. Provision of documents, certified copies of
 documents, and other certifications by the
 Department of State (domestic):
    (a) Documents relating to births, marriages,  $50.
     and deaths of U.S. citizens abroad
     originally issued by a U.S. embassy or
     consulate.
    (b) Issuance of Replacement Report of Birth   $50.
     Abroad.
    (c) Certified copies of documents relating    $50.
     to births and deaths within the former
     Canal Zone of Panama from records
     maintained by the Canal Zone Government
     from 1904 to September 30, 1979.
    (d) Certifying a copy of a document or        $50.
     extract from an official passport record.
    (e) Certifying that no record of an official  $50.
     file can be located.
    (f) Each additional copy provided at same     $50.
     time.
44. Authentications (by posts abroad):
    (a) Authenticating a foreign notary or other  $50.
     foreign official seal or signature.
    (b) Authenticating a U.S. Federal, State, or  $50.
     territorial seal.
    (c) Certifying to the official status of an   $50.
     officer of the U.S. Department of State or
     of a foreign diplomatic or consular officer
     accredited to or recognized by the U.S.
     Government.
    (d) Each authentication.....................  $50.
45. Exemptions: Notarial, certification, and
 authentication fees (Items 41-44) or passport
 file search fees (Item 6) will not be charged
 when the service is performed:
    (a) At the direct request of any Federal      NO FEE.
     Government agency, any state or local
     government, the District of Columbia, or
     any of the territories or possessions of
     the United States (unless significant costs
     would be incurred).
    (b) With respect to documents to be           NO FEE.
     presented by claimants, beneficiaries, or
     their witnesses in connection with
     obtaining Federal, state, or municipal
     benefits.
    (c) For U.S. citizens outside the United      NO FEE.
     States preparing ballots for any public
     election in the United States or any of its
     territories.
    (d) At the direct request of a foreign        NO FEE.
     government or an international agency of
     which the United States is a member if the
     documents are for official noncommercial
     use.
    (e) At the direct request of a foreign        NO FEE.
     government official when appropriate or as
     a reciprocal courtesy.
    (f) At the request of direct-hire U.S.        NO FEE.
     Government personnel, Peace Corps
     volunteers, or their dependents stationed
     or traveling officially in a foreign
     country.
    (g) With respect to documents whose           NO FEE.
     production is ordered by a court of
     competent jurisdiction.
    (h) With respect to affidavits of support     NO FEE.
     for immigrant visa applications.
    (i) With respect to endorsing U.S. Savings    NO FEE.
     Bonds Certificates.
(Items 46 through 50 vacant.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Judicial Assistance Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
51. Processing letters rogatory and Foreign       $2,275.
 Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) judicial
 assistance cases, including providing seal and
 certificate for return of letters rogatory
 executed by foreign officials.
52. Taking depositions or executing commissions
 to take testimony:
    (a) Scheduling/arranging appointments for     $1,283.
     depositions, including depositions by video
     teleconference (per daily appointment).
    (b) Attending or taking depositions, or       $309 per hour plus
     executing commissions to take testimony       expenses.
     (per hour or part thereof).
    (c) Swearing in witnesses for telephone       Consular time (Item
     depositions.                                  75) plus expenses.
    (d) Supervising telephone depositions (per    Consular time (Item
     hour or part thereof over the first hour).    75) plus expenses.
    (e) Providing seal and certification of       $415.
     depositions.
53. Exemptions: Deposition or executing
 commissions to take testimony. Fees (Item 52)
 will not be charged when the service is
 performed:
    (a) At the direct request of any Federal      NO FEE.
     Government agency, any state or local
     government, the District of Columbia, or
     any of the territories or possessions of
     the United States (unless significant time
     required and/or expenses would be incurred).
    (b) Executing commissions to take testimony   NO FEE.
     in connection with foreign documents for
     use in criminal cases when the commission
     is accompanied by an order of Federal court
     on behalf of an indigent party.
 (Items 54 through 60 vacant.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Services Relating to Vessels and Seamen
------------------------------------------------------------------------
61. Shipping and Seaman's services: Including     Consular time (Item
 but not limited to recording a bill of sale of    75) plus expenses.
 a vessel purchased abroad, renewal of a marine
 radio license, and issuance of certificate of
 American ownership.
 (Items 62 through 70 vacant.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Administrative Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
71. Non-emergency telephone calls...............  $10 plus long distance
                                                   charge.

[[Page 36535]]

 
72. Setting up and maintaining a trust account:   $30.
 For 1 year or less to transfer funds to or for
 the benefit of a U.S. citizen in need in a
 foreign country.
73. Transportation charges incurred in the        Expenses incurred.
 performance of fee and no-fee services when
 appropriate and necessary.
74. Return check processing fee.................  $25.
75. Consular time charges: As required by this    $231.
 Schedule and for fee services performed away
 from the office or during after-duty hours (per
 hour or part thereof/per consular employee).
76. Photocopies (per page)......................  $1.
(Items 77 through 80 vacant.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

PART 51--[PASSPORTS]

0
3. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  8 U.S.C. 1504; 18 U.S.C. 1621; 22 U.S.C. 211a, 212, 
213, 213n (Pub. L. 106-113 Div. B, Sec. 1000(a)(7) [Div. A, Title 
II, Sec. 236], 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A-430); 214, 214a, 217a, 218, 
2651a, 2671(d)(3), 2705, 2714, 2721, & 3926; 26 U.S.C. 6039E; 31 
U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 652(k) [Div. B, Title V of Pub. L. 103-317, 
108 Stat. 1760]; E.O. 11295, Aug. 6, 1966, FR 10603, 3 CFR, 1966-
1970 Comp., p. 570; Sec. 1 of Pub. L. 109-210, 120 Stat. 319; Sec. 2 
of Pub. L. 109-167, 119 Stat. 3578; Sec. 5 of Pub. L. 109-472, 120 
Stat. 3554; Pub. L. 108-447, Div. B, Title IV, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 
Stat. 2809; Pub. L. 108-458, 118 Stat. 3638, 3823 (Dec. 17, 2004).


0
4. In Sec.  51.51, revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:


Sec.  51.51  Passport fees.

* * * * *
    (d) A surcharge in the amount of twenty-two dollars ($22) on the 
filing of each application for a passport book, in the amount of 
twenty-two dollars ($22) on the filing of each application for a 
passport card for an applicant age 16 or over, and in the amount of 
fifteen dollars ($15) on the filing of each application for a passport 
card for an applicant under age 16, in order to cover the costs of 
meeting the increased demand for passports as a result of actions taken 
to comply with section 7209(b) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism 
Prevention Act of 2004, Public Law 108-458 (8 U.S.C. 1185 note). The 
surcharge will be recovered by the Department of State from within the 
passport application fee reflected in the Schedule of Fees for Consular 
Services.

    Dated: June 22, 2010.
Patrick F. Kennedy,
Under Secretary of State for Management, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2010-15622 Filed 6-25-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-P