[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 21 (Wednesday, January 31, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 4423-4425]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-01850]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 22

[Public Notice 9450]
RIN 1400-AD71


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

AGENCY: Department of State.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule finalizes the interim final rule published in the 
Federal Register on September 8, 2015. Specifically, the rule 
implemented changes to the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services 
(``Schedule'') for certain passport and citizenship services fees. This 
rulemaking addresses public comments and adopts as final the changes to 
these fees.

DATES: In accordance with the Congressional Review Act, this rule is 
effective on April 2, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rob Schlicht, Office of the 
Comptroller, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State; phone: 
202-485-6685, telefax: 202-485-6826; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: For the complete explanation of the 
background of this rule, including the rationale for the change, the 
authority of the Department of State (``Department'') to make the fee 
changes in question, and an explanation of the study that produced the 
fee amounts, consult the prior public notices cited in the 
``Background'' section below.

Background

    The Department published an interim final rule in the Federal 
Register, 80 FR 53704, on September 8, 2015, amending sections of 22 
CFR part 22. Specifically, the rule amended the Schedule of Fees for 
Consular Services and provided 60 days for comments from the public. 
During this 60-day comment period, 15 comments were received by mail, 
email, and through the submission process at regulations.gov.
    This rule establishes the following fees for the categories below:

--Administrative Processing of Request for Certificate of Loss of 
Nationality (CLN) $2,350
--Passport Book Application Fee (age 16 and older) from $70 to $50
--Passport Book Application Fee (under age 16) from $40 to $20
--Passport Security Surcharge from $40 to $60

    The original publication of the interim final rule included an 
incorrect effective date of September 23, 2015, for the above changes 
in the Passport Book Application fees and Passport Security Surcharge. 
That date subsequently was corrected. See 80 FR 55242. The correct 
effective date is reflected herein; it is September 26, 2015.

Analysis of Comments

    In the 60-day period since the publication of the interim final 
rule, 15 comments were received. Twelve of the comments were about the 
Administrative Processing of Request for CLN fee. The other three 
comments were about Executive Branch fees or U.S. citizenship.
    Many of the comments suggested that the fee for Administrative 
Processing of Request for CLN creates a barrier to expatriation. Most 
asserted that the fee is excessive and that many individuals will be 
unable to pay it. However, one comment expressed support for

[[Page 4424]]

collecting the fee from those attempting to evade taxes. Several asked 
for clarification about the amount of the fee, including one comment 
seeking confirmation that the Department had not doubled the CLN fee. 
Two challenged the analysis of processing costs used to justify the 
fee. Several cited the Expatriation Act of 1868 or the Universal 
Declaration of Human Rights when asserting that expatriation is a 
constitutional or human right.
    In collecting the CLN fee, the Department has not restricted or 
burdened the right of expatriation. Further, the fee is not punitive 
and is unrelated to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) 
mentioned in some comments, except to the extent that the Act caused an 
increase in consular workload that must be paid for by user fees. 
Rather, the fee is a cost-based user fee for consular services. 
Conforming to guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), 
federal agencies make every effort to ensure that each service provided 
to specific recipients is self-sustaining, charging fees that are 
sufficient to recover the full cost to the government. (See OMB 
Circular A-25, ] 6(a)(1), (a)(2)(a).) Because costs change from year to 
year, the Department conducts an annual update of the costs for 
providing consular services in the form of a Cost of Service Model 
(CoSM). In addition to enabling the government to recover costs, the 
study also helps the Department to avoid charging consumers more than 
the cost of the services they consume. The CoSM is an activity-based 
costing (ABC) model that the Department developed following guidance 
provided in Statement 4 of OMB's Statement of Federal Financial 
Accounting Standards, available at http://www.fasab.gov/pdffiles/sffas-4.pdf. Setting the fee at $2,350 reflects the cost for the service as 
determined by the model. In sum, the Administrative Processing of 
Request for CLN fee is a ``user charge,'' which reflects the full cost 
to the U.S. government of providing the service, as determined through 
analysis based on federal financial accounting standards.
    The Department has not doubled the CLN fee. In the past, the 
Department collected a fee only from U.S. nationals (i.e., U.S. 
citizens and non-citizen nationals) taking the oath of renunciation. 
The Department did not charge a fee for the service of documenting a 
non-renunciatory relinquishment, which it performed much less 
frequently. However, requests for documentation of relinquishment of 
nationality on the basis of a non-renunciatory relinquishment have 
increased significantly in recent years, and the Department expects the 
number to remain at an elevated level in the future. The services 
performed for both individuals who renounce nationality and individuals 
who apply for documentation on the basis of a non-renunciation 
relinquishment are similar, requiring close and detailed case-by-case 
review of the factors involved. The fiscal year 2013 CoSM update 
demonstrated that both services are extremely costly. For these 
reasons, the $2,350 fee now applies to relinquishments under 8 U.S.C. 
1481(a)(1) to 8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(4) (and predecessor statutes) and to 
relinquishments by renunciation under 8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(5). With this 
change, the Department renamed the service ``Administrative Processing 
of Request for Certificate of Loss of Nationality.''
    The right of expatriation is addressed in the Immigration and 
Nationality Act and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The CLN 
fee does not impinge on the right of expatriation. Rather, the fee 
reflects the resources necessary for the U.S. government to verify that 
all constitutional and other requirements for expatriation are 
satisfied in every case. As described in the interim final rule and in 
an earlier rule that raised the fee for taking the oath of renunciation 
to $2,350 (80 FR 51464), expatriation for a U.S. national requires a 
thorough, serious, time-consuming process, in view of U.S. Supreme 
Court jurisprudence that declared unconstitutional an involuntary or 
forcible expatriation. In Afroyim v, Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967) and 
Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 (1980), the Supreme Court ruled that 
expatriation requires the voluntary commission of an expatriating act 
with the intention or assent of the citizen to relinquish citizenship. 
It is therefore incumbent upon the Department to maintain and implement 
procedures that allow consular officers and other Department employees 
to ensure these requirements are satisfied in every expatriation case.
    Several commenters requested information on the relinquishment 
process, e.g. payment options and documentation. Individuals desiring 
to relinquish their U.S. citizenship should consult travel.state.gov 
and may contact the appropriate U.S. embassy with any questions on the 
process. Embassy contact information can be found at usembassy.gov.

Conclusion

    The Department adjusted the fees in light of the CoSM's findings 
that the U.S. government was not covering fully its costs for providing 
these consular services. Pursuant to OMB guidance, the Department 
endeavors to recover the cost of providing services that benefit 
specific individuals, as opposed to the general public. See OMB 
Circular A-25, ] 6(a)(1), (a)(2)(a). For this reason, the Department 
has adjusted the Schedule of Fees.

Regulatory Findings

A. Administrative Procedure Act (APA)

    The Department of State published this rule as an interim final 
rule on September 8, 2015, and provided 60 days for comment. 80 FR 
53704. The rule will be effective 60 days after publication, in 
accordance with the APA.

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

    The Department of State has reviewed this rulemaking and certifies 
that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.

C. 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.

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. 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 the 
United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies 
in domestic and import markets.

E. Executive Orders 12866 and 13771

    The Office of Management and Budget reviewed this rule, and 
determined it is not an E.O. 13771 regulatory action because this rule 
is not significant under E.O. 12866. As this rule is not a significant 
regularly action, it is except from the requirements of Executive Order 
13771, ``Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.'' See 
OMB

[[Page 4425]]

Memorandum M-17-21, ``Guidance Implementing Executive Order 13771'' of 
April 5, 2017.

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

H. Executive Order 13175--Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    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 section 5 of Executive 
Order 13175 do not apply to this rulemaking.

I. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose or revise information collections subject 
to the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C., Chapter 
35.
    For a summary of the regulatory findings and analyses regarding 
this rulemaking, please refer to the findings and analyses published 
with the interim final rule, which can be found at 80 FR 53704, which 
are adopted herein. Section 22.1, Items 2.(a), 2.(b), and 2.(g) of this 
rule became effective September 26, 2015. Section 22.1, Item 8 became 
effective November 9, 2015. As noted above, the Department considered 
the comments submitted in response to the interim final rule and does 
not adopt them. Thus, the rule remains in effect.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 22

    Consular services, Fees, Passports and visas.

PART 22--SCHEDULE OF FEES FOR CONSULAR SERVICES--DEPARTMENT OF 
STATE AND FOREIGN SERVICE

0
Accordingly, the interim final rule amending 22 CFR part 22, which was 
published in the Federal Register, 80 FR 53704, on September 8, 2015 is 
adopted as final without change.

Carl C. Risch,
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2018-01850 Filed 1-30-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4710-06-P