Immigration Law

Parallel Proposed Rules from DOS, CBP re Waiver of Passport, Visa Requirments

Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 45 / Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - "This rule proposes to reinstate a 1996 amendment to a regulation in title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations regarding a discretionary waiver of certain documentary requirements for nonimmigrants seeking admission to the United States. The 1996 amendment allowed the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) (now U.S. Customs and Border Protection) to waive passport and visa requirements for nonimmigrants due to an unforeseen emergency while preserving its ability to fine carriers for unlawfully bringing aliens who do not have a valid passport or visa to the United States. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the legacy INS and the U.S. Department of State (State Department) did not satisfy a statutory requirement to act jointly when the amendment was promulgated. As a result, the court found that the 1996 amendment to the regulation was procedurally deficient and reimposed an earlier version of the regulation that legacy INS and the State Department promulgated in 1994. This rule proposes to reinstate the 1996 amendment with some technical amendments. DHS and the State Department have acted jointly in this matter and the State Department is publishing a parallel proposed rule to amend its regulation in today’s edition of the Federal Register. DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 9, 2016."