[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 93 (Monday, May 16, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-11861]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: May 16, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 22

[Public Notice 2006]

 

Schedule of Fees for Consular Services, Department of State and 
Foreign Service of the United States

AGENCY: Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State.

ACTION: Interim rule.

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SUMMARY: This interim rule amends Sec. 22.1 of title 22, Code of 
Federal Regulations by creating a surcharge for the processing of 
machine readable visas (MRV's). That surcharge, pursuant to OMB 
Circular No. A-25, is set at a cost-recovery based level of $20,00 per 
visa application.

DATES: Effective Date: The effective date for the new fee is May 16, 
1994.

    Date for submission of comments: June 15, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments in 
duplicate to the Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular 
Affairs, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-4818.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Holcombe Thomas, Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular 
Affairs, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-4818, (202) 647-
1148.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

Background

    Public Law 103-236, enacted April 30, 1994, authorizes the 
Secretary of State to collect a surcharge for the processing of machine 
readable visa (MRV) applications, and to retain the resulting revenues, 
up to a ceiling of $107.5 million for fiscal years 1994 and 1995. This 
authority has been delegated to the Under Secretary for Management. It 
supplements and in part overrides section 281 of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (INA) which generally provides for nonimmigrant visa 
fees to be set on the basis of reciprocity.
    The Secretary of State has also been authorized under E.O. 10718 of 
June 27, 1957, to exercise the President's authority under 22 U.S.C. 
4219 to prescribe rates of fees to be charged for official services 
performed by the Department of State. Under this authority, the 
Department has determined a number of fees for consular services 
performed overseas, as well as in the United States, within the 
guidelines set by OMB Circular No. A-25. The policy set out in Circular 
A-25 states that services which directly benefit individuals, 
organizations, or groups should be paid for by the users rather than 
the taxpayers. Services performed for the primary benefit of the 
general public or the U.S. Government are to be supported by tax 
revenues. The principles of Circular A-25 have guided various fee 
studies conducted by the Department. As a result, although the 
authority to charge for processing a machine readable visa is new, the 
Department has for a number of years had on hand Circular A-25-based 
cost estimates for visa processing.
    In the Department's latest consular fee study, issued in January 
1991, the cost of processing a nonimmigrant visa was determined to be 
$18.47. Equipment used to process machine readable nonimmigrant visas 
(MRV's) is considerably more expensive than the equipment used to issue 
the outdated stamped visas which the MRV is replacing. Given these 
additional equipment costs and the costs of collecting the fee, the new 
fee has been set at a cost-recovery level of $20.00 per visa 
application. This fee may in fact be below cost, but the Department 
believes that it is an approximate level at which to set the charge 
initially, given the base estimate of $18.47 and the need for a fee 
that can be collected with minimal transaction costs. A $20.00 fee is a 
whole dollar amount. Moreover, in discussing the new fee with members 
of Congress, $20.00 was discussed in light of the 1991 cost study as 
the initial amount at which the new fee would be set.
    The implementation of this rule as an interim rule, with provision 
for post-promulgation comments, is based upon the ``good cause'' 
exception found at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 553(d)(3). The authorization 
for the collection of a processing fee for machine readable 
nonimmigrant visas and machine readable combination border crossing 
card mandated by Public Law 103-236 took effect on April 30, 1994. This 
rule must take effect upon publication to ensure that the Department 
maximizes surcharge revenue for the balance of fiscal year 1994. The 
Department will be relying on such revenues to fund accelerated 
installation of improved visa processing and issuing technology at 
consular posts. The installation of such technology has become a high 
priority for the United States in light of the World Trade Center 
bombing and increasing concerns about visa fraud and alien terrorist 
activity in the United States.
    This rule is not considered to be a major rule for purposes of E.O. 
12291 nor is it expected to have a significant impact on a substantial 
number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. In addition, this rule does not impose information 
collection requirements under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1980. This rule has been reviewed as required by E.O. 12778 and 
certified to be in compliance therewith. This rule is exempt from 
review under E.O. 12866, but has been reviewed internally by the 
Department to ensure consistency with the objectives thereof.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 22

    Passports and visas, Schedule of Consular Fees.
    Accordingly, 22 CFR part 22 is amended as follows:
    1. The authority citation for part 22 continues to read as follows:

PART 22--[AMENDED]

    Authority: Sections 3, 4, 63 Stat. 111, as amended; 22 U.S.C. 
211a, 214, 2651, 2658, 3921, 4219; 31 U.S.C. 9701; EO 101718, 22 FR 
4632; EO 11295, 31 FR 10603; 3 CFR 1954-1958 Comp. p. 507.

    2. Section 22.1 is amended by adding item 26 under ``Visa Services 
for Aliens'' to read as follows:


Sec. 22.1  Schedule of fees.

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                           Item No.                                Fee  
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26. Surcharge for processing machine readable nonimmigrant              
 visa application.............................................    $20.00
(Item Nos. 27 through 29 vacant)                                        
                                                                        
                                  *****                                 
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    Dated: May 6, 1994.
Richard Moose,
Under Secretary for Management, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 94-11861 Filed 5-11-94; 3:24 pm]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-M