[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 211 (Tuesday, November 1, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 67361-67363]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-28281]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 42

[Public Notice 7391]
RIN 1400-AC86


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

AGENCY: State Department.

ACTION: Interim final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule amends the Department of State's regulations 
relating to adoptions in countries party to The Hague Convention on the 
Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry 
Adoption, to include new adoption provisions from the International 
Adoption Simplification Act. This legislation provides for sibling 
adoption to include certain children who are under the age of 18 at the 
time the petition is filed on their behalf, and also certain children 
who attained the age of 18 on or after April 1, 2008 and who are the

[[Page 67362]]

beneficiaries of a petition filed on or before November 30, 2012.

DATES: 
    Effective Date: This rule is effective November 1, 2011.
    Comment Date: The Department will accept comments from the public 
up to December 1, 2011.

ADDRESSES: 
    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Email: BeaumontTW@state.gov (Subject line must read IASA 
Sibling Reg.).
     Mail: Chief, Legislation and Regulation Division, Visa 
Services--IASA Sibling Reg., 2401 E. Street, NW., Washington, DC 20520-
30106.
     ``Persons with access to the Internet may view this notice 
and provide comments by going to the regulations.gov Web site at: 
http://www.regulations.gov/index.cfm, and searching on the Public 
Notice number 7391.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Taylor W. Beaumont, Legislation and 
Regulations Division, Visa Services, Department of State, 2401 E 
Street, NW., Room L-603D, Washington, DC 20520-0106, who may be reached 
at (202) 663-1202.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Definitions

    As used in this public notice, the term ``Convention'' means The 
Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect 
of Intercountry Adoption; the term ``Convention country'' means a 
country that is a party to the Convention and with which the Convention 
is in force for the United States; and the term ``IASA'' means the 
International Adoption Simplification Act, Public Law 111-287 (2010).

Why is the Department promulgating this rule?

    On November 30, 2010, the President signed the IASA into law, 
modifying the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as regards 
adoptions from Convention countries. Among other changes, the IASA 
creates a new INA Section 101(b)(1)(G)(iii) to allow U.S. citizens to 
file an immediate relative petition for a child younger than 18 from a 
Convention country, provided that child is the natural sibling of a 
child concurrently or already adopted or being brought to the United 
States for adoption under INA Sections 101(b)(1)(E)(i), (F)(i), or 
(G)(i). To qualify as a child who is covered under INA Section 
101(b)(1)(G)(iii), a child must be adopted abroad, or be coming to the 
United States for adoption, by the adoptive parent(s) or prospective 
adoptive parent(s) of his/her natural sibling. In addition, the child 
must be otherwise qualified as a Convention adoptee under INA Section 
101(b)(1)(G)(i), except that the child is under 18 years of age rather 
than under 16 years of age, as is required for classification under INA 
Section 101(b)(1)(G)(i).
    The IASA contains an exception at Section 4(b) necessitating a 
modification of the Department regulation contained in 22 CFR 42.24. 
Under that section, an alien who is older than 18 years of age 
nonetheless may be classified under INA Section 101(b)(1)(G)(iii) if 
he/she turned 18 years of age on or after April 1, 2008 and his/her 
immediate relative petition is filed not later than November 30, 2012. 
As currently written, the Department's regulations pertaining to INA 
Section 101(b)(1)(G) cover exclusively those children whose adoptions 
will be governed by the Convention. Although aliens qualified under 
IASA Section 4(b) will be emigrating from a Convention country, the 
Convention only governs the adoption of children under the age of 18. 
This rule is necessary to change Department regulations to cover aliens 
properly qualified under IASA Section 4(b).

Regulatory Findings

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department is publishing this rule as an interim final rule, 
and with an effective date less than 30 days from the date of 
publication, based on the ``good cause'' exceptions set forth at 5 
U.S.C. 553(b) and 553(d)(3). Delaying implementation of this rule would 
be contrary to the public interest, due to the effect of recent 
legislation (the International Adoption Simplification Act). Because 
current Department regulations do not contemplate the adoption of 
children over the age of 18 in countries party to The Hague Convention 
on Inter-Country Adoption, the lack of procedural certainty regarding 
22 CFR 42.24 could forseeably cause undue confusion and delay for 
American citizens pursuing their rights to adopt as provided by the 
IASA. The Department will accept public comments for 30 days after 
publication.

Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business

    The Department of State has reviewed this regulation and certifies 
that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. The Department of State notes 
that this regulation, as it exclusively facilitates adoptions by U.S. 
citizens, will have its greatest effect on individuals and not small 
businesses. While American Adoption Service Providers (ASPs) are 
essential to intercountry adoptions in Convention countries, this 
regulation will have a negligible effect on these ASPs, as the 
Department of State anticipates that this regulation will allow very 
few adoptions that would not have already been possible in the absence 
of this regulation.

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, Public Law 
104-4, 109 Stat. 48, 2 U.S.C. 1532, generally requires agencies to 
prepare a statement before proposing any rule that may result in an 
annual expenditure of $100 million or more by State, local, or tribal 
governments, or by the private sector. This rule will not result in any 
such expenditure, nor will it significantly or uniquely affect small 
governments.

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804, for 
purposes of congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, Public Law 104-
121. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of 
$100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or adverse 
effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, 
innovation, or the ability of United States-based companies to compete 
with foreign-based companies in domestic and import markets.

Executive Order 12866

    The Department is exempt from Executive Order 12866 except to the 
extent that it is promulgating regulations in conjunction with a 
domestic agency that are significant regulatory actions. The Department 
has reviewed this rule to ensure its consistency with the regulatory 
philosophy and principles set forth in Executive Order 12866. 
Consistent with Executive Order 12866, the Department does not consider 
the rule to be an economically significant action within the scope of 
section 3(f)(1) of the Executive Order since it is not likely to have 
an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or to adversely 
affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, 
competition, jobs, the environment, public health or

[[Page 67363]]

safety, or state, local or tribal governments or communities.

Executive Order 13563

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

Executive Orders 12372 and 13132: Federalism

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Nor will the rule have federalism 
implications warranting the application of Executive Orders No. 12372 
and No. 13132.

Executive Order 13175

    The Department of State 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 requirement of Section 5 of Executive 
Order 13175 does not apply to this rulemaking.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose information collection requirements under 
the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C., Chapter 35.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 42

    Immigration, Passports and Visas.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, 22 CFR part 
42 is amended as follows:

PART 42--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 42 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. Section 42.24 is amended by revising paragraph (a) and adding 
paragraph (n) to read as follows:


Sec.  42.24  Adoption under the Hague Convention on Protection of 
Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption and the 
Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000.

    (a) Except as described in paragraph (n), for purposes of this 
section, the definitions in 22 CFR 96.2 apply.
* * * * *
    (n) Notwithstanding paragraphs (d) through (m) of this section, an 
alien described in paragraph (n)(1) of this section may qualify for 
visa status under INA section 101(b)(1)(G)(iii) without meeting the 
requirements set forth in paragraphs (d) through (m) of this section.
    (1) Per Section 4(b) of the Intercountry Adoption Simplification 
Act, Public Law 111-287 (IASA), an alien otherwise described in INA 
section 101(b)(1)(G)(iii) who attained the age of 18 on or after April 
1, 2008 shall be deemed to meet the age requirement imposed by INA 
section 101(b)(1)(G)(iii)(III), provided that a petition is filed for 
such child in accordance with DHS requirements not later than November 
30, 2012.
    (2) For any alien described in paragraph (n)(1) of this section, 
the ``competent authority'' referred to in INA section 
101(b)(1)(G)(i)(V)(aa) is the passport issuing authority of the country 
of origin.

    Dated: October 21, 2011.
Janice L. Jacobs,
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2011-28281 Filed 10-31-11; 8:45 am]
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