[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 106 (Monday, June 3, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 32989-32990]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-13065]



[[Page 32989]]

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 42

[Public Notice 8345]
RIN 1400-AC86


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

AGENCY: Department of State.

ACTION: 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 a new adoption provision from the International 
Adoption Simplification Act. The legislation provides for sibling 
adoption to include certain children who are under the age of 18 at the 
time the petition for immediate relative 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 beneficiaries of a petition filed on or before 
November 30, 2012.

DATES: This rule iseffective June 3, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Taylor W. Beaumont, Legislation and 
Regulations Division, Legal Affairs, Office of Visa Services, Bureau of 
Consular Affairs, Department of State, 2401 E Street NW., Room L-603D, 
Washington, DC 20520-0106, (202) 663-2951, email 
(BeaumontTW@state.gov).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    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).
    On November 30, 2010, the President signed the IASA, modifying the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) regarding adoptions from 
Convention countries. Among other changes, the IASA creates a new 
section in INA section 101(b)(1)(G)(iii) under which U.S. citizens may 
file an immediate relative petition for a child younger than 18 from a 
Convention country, provided that the child is the natural sibling of a 
child concurrently or already adopted or being brought to the United 
States for adoption under INA section 101(b)(1)(E)(i), (F)(i), or 
(G)(i). To be eligible 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 (which 
would be required for classification under INA section 
101(b)(1)(G)(i)).
    The IASA also contains an exception at section 4(b) that 
necessitates a revision of the Department regulation published in 22 
CFR 42.24. Under that section, an alien older than 18 years of age 
nonetheless may be classified as a child under INA section 
101(b)(1)(G)(iii) if he or she turned 18 years of age on or after April 
1, 2008 and his or her immediate relative petition is filed no later 
than November 30, 2012. As currently written, the Department's 
regulations pertaining to INA section 101(b)(1)(G) exclusively cover 
those children whose adoptions will be governed by the Convention. 
Although aliens qualified under section 4(b) of the IASA 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 
section 4(b) of the IASA.

Discussion of Comments on the Proposed Rule

    The Department of State published an interim final rule on November 
1, 2011, with a 30-day comment period that expired on December 1, 2011 
(76 FR 67361). In response, the Department received one comment 
relative to the proposed rule that supported the changes proposed in 
this rulemaking as an effort to reunite siblings and families that may 
be separated as a result of intercountry adoptions.

Summary of the Final Regulation

    This final rule establishes new procedures that consular officers 
will follow in allowing U.S. parents to file an immediate relative 
petition for a child who is younger than 18 years of age (or who 
attained the age of 18 on or after April 1, 2008 if the petition is 
filed for such child on or before November 30, 2012) who is the natural 
sibling of a child already adopted by the same U.S. citizen parent. The 
Department published an interim final rule on November 1, 2011 and, 
after reviewing the comment, is issuing the rule as final with one 
change that clarifies which foreign government authority may be 
considered as the ``competent authority'' in IASA adoptions for 
purposes of INA section 101(b)(1)(G)(i)(V)(aa).

Regulatory Findings

A. Administrative Procedure Act

    In accordance with provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act 
governing rules promulgated by federal agencies that affect the public 
(5 U.S.C. 553), the Department published a proposed rule and invited 
public comment.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business

    Consistent with section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 605(b)), the Department certifies that this rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
This final rule regulates individual aliens who seek immigrant visas 
and does not affect any small entities, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 601(6).

C. The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UFMA), 
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 would 
not result in any such expenditure, nor would it significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments.

D. 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 would not result in an annual effect on the economy of 
$100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or 
significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, 
productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based 
companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and 
export markets.

E. Executive Order 12866

    The Department of State does not consider this rule to be a 
``significant regulatory action'' within the scope of section 3(f)(1) 
of Executive Order 12866.

[[Page 32990]]

Nonetheless, the Department has reviewed the rule to ensure its 
consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in 
the Executive Order.

F. Executive Order 13563

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

G. 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 12372 and 
13132.

H. Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform

    The Department has reviewed the regulations in light of sections 
3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order No. 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, 
minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce 
burden.

I. 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 requirements of Executive Order 13175 does 
not apply to this rulemaking.

J. 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

    Aliens, Foreign officials, Immigration, Passports and visas.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the interim 
rule published November 1, 2011, at 76 FR 67363, is adopted as final 
with the following change:

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

0
1. The authority citation for section 42 is amended 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; The 
International Adoption Simplification Act, Pub. L. 111-287; 8 U.S.C. 
1101, 124 Stat. 3058.


0
2. Section 42.24 is amended by revising paragraph (n)(2) 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.

* * * * *
    (n) * * *
    (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 a court or governmental agency of a foreign 
country of origin having jurisdiction and authority to make decisions 
in matters of child welfare, including adoption. If the competent 
authority over matters of child welfare no longer has jurisdiction or 
authority over the alien due to his or her age, then the passport 
issuing authority of the country of origin may be considered the 
competent authority for the purposes of INA section 
101(b)(1)(G)(i)(V)(aa).

    Dated: May 2, 2013.
Janice L. Jacobs,
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2013-13065 Filed 5-31-13; 8:45 am]
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