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Guam Visa Waiver Program; Taiwan [59 FR 35614 - 35615][FR 39-94]
FEDERAL REGISTER CITE:
59 FR 35614 - 35615
July 13, 1994
BILLING CODE: 4410-10
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Immigration and Naturalization Service
[INS No. 1398-92]
Guam Visa Waiver Program; Taiwan
Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.
: Final rule.
This rule amends the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service) regulations by amending the one-year restriction on Taiwan's inclusion in the Guam Visa Waiver Program, and by removing the requirement that residents of Taiwan who are in possession of Taiwan National Identity Cards traveling to Guam, do so on a direct, nonstop flight. The removal of the restriction is the result of an evaluation conducted by the Service that indicated that there were only two instances of abuse of the Guam Visa Waiver
Program by non-Taiwan residents detected by the Service since Taiwan was temporarily added to the Program on July 15, 1993. This rule facilitates the travel of certain residents of Taiwan to visit Guam under certain conditions. It enables holders of Taiwan passports who begin their travel in Taiwan and who are in possession of Taiwan National Identity Cards to visit Guam as nonimmigrant visitors for up to 15 days for business or pleasure without first obtaining a nonimmigrant visitor visa at an American
This rule is effective July 13, 1994.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ronald J. Hays, Assistant Chief Inspector, Inspections Division, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street NW., Room 7228, Washington, DC 20536, Telephone number: (202) 514-0912.
Under section 212(l)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act), certain visitors from designated countries may visit Guam for up to 15 days without having to obtain nonimmigrant visitor visas from American consulates outside the United States.
First implemented on October 1, 1988, this program resulted in thousands of nonimmigrant visitors from Australia, Brunei, Burma, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, the United Kingdom (including citizens of the colony of Hong Kong), Vanuatu and Western Samoa, visiting Guam under the conditions mentioned in the summary.
On July 15, 1993, the Service published an interim rule with request for comments, in the Federal Register, at 58 FR 38045 - 38046, temporarily adding Taiwan through July 15, 1994, to the list meeting the eligibility criteria for the Guam Visa Waiver Program, implemented under the Omnibus Territories Act of 1986, Public Law 99-396. This rule removes the one-year restriction on Taiwan's inclusion in the program.
Since the Service was concerned about potential abuse by non-Taiwan residents attempting to enter the United States illegally, only residents of Taiwan in possession of Taiwan National Identity Cards, in addition to valid Taiwan passports with valid re-entry permits issued by the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were included in the Guam Visa Waiver Program. In addition, there was a further restriction that persons must travel on a direct, nonstop flight from Taiwan to Guam.
Since Taiwan's inclusion in the program, only two instances of abuse of the Guam Visa Waiver Program, by non-Taiwan residents, were detected by the Service. However, the requirement that Taiwan residents seeking to enter Guam under this program do so on a direct non-stop flight from Taiwan had an unforeseeable impact on the tourist industry in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas when the air carrier serving Guam from Taiwan via Saipan eliminated the Saipan stop. Four comments were received by the S
ervice concerning the change of service to the Northern Marianas. These comments all came from the Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, protesting that the non-stop requirement of the interim rule negatively affected tourism in the Commonwealth because Taiwan residents could no longer travel easily to the Commonwealth.
The Service agrees with these comments and has amended the rule to remove the direct non-stop flight requirement. However, to address the potential for abuse by non-Taiwan residents seeking to enter the United States, the rule will be amended to reflect that only holders of Taiwan passports who are residents of Taiwan who begin their travel to Guam in Taipei and arrive in Guam without an intermediate layover will be eligible to participate in the Guam Visa Waiver Program. Such travellers will be further r
estricted to those who arrive on a flight which has not had an intermediate stop except in a territory of the United States. The Service reserves the right to reinstate the direct non-stop flight requirement by means of a notice in the Federal Register should the percentage of inadmissible passengers arriving in Guam who have transited a territory of the United States enroute to Guam exceed 20 percent of all inadmissible passengers arriving in Guam for two consecutive months.
The Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this regulation and by approving it certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because of the following factors: this rule merely removes a restriction on travel, and will have a positive economic impact for Guam by increasing tourism.
This rule is not considered by the Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, to be a "significant regulatory action" under Executive Order 12866, Sec. 3(f), Regulatory Planning and Review, and the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review process under section 6(a)(3)(A).
The regulations adopted herein will not have substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 12612, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.
The Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service certifies that she has assessed this rule in light of the criteria in Executive Order 12606 and has determined that this regulation will enhance family well-being by allowing eligible Taiwan families to readily come to Guam on vacation.
List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 212
Administrative practice and procedures, Aliens, Passports and visas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
Accordingly, the interim rule published at 58 FR 38045 - 38046, on July 15, 1993, amending 8 CFR part 212 is adopted as a final rule with the following changes:
PART 212--DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS: NONIMMIGRANTS; WAIVERS; ADMISSION OF CERTAIN INADMISSIBLE ALIENS; PAROLE
1. The authority citation for part 212 continues to read as follows:
8 U.S.C. 1101, 1102, 1103, 1182, 1184, 1225, 1226, 1228, 1252; 8 CFR part 2.
2. In Sec. 212.1, paragraph (e)(3) is revised to read as follows:
Sec. 212.1 Documentary requirements for nonimmigrants.
* * * * *
(e) * * *
(3)(i) The following geographic areas meet the eligibility criteria as stated in paragraph (e)(2) of this section: Australia, Brunei, Burma, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Taiwan (residents thereof who begin their travel in Taiwan and who travel on direct flights from Taiwan to Guam without an intermediate layover or stop except that the flights may stop in a territory of the United States enroute), the United Kingdom (inclu
ding the citizens of the colony of Hong Kong), Vanuatu, and Western Samoa. The provision that flights transporting residents of Taiwan to Guam may stop at a territory of the United States enroute may be rescinded whenever the number of inadmissible passengers arriving in Guam who have transited a territory of the United States enroute to Guam exceeds 20 percent of all the inadmissible passengers arriving in Guam within any consecutive two-month period. Such rescission will be published in the
(ii) For the purposes of this section, the term
citizen of a country
as used in 8 CFR 212.1(e)(1) when applied to Taiwan refers only to residents of Taiwan who are in possession of Taiwan National Identity Cards and a valid Taiwan passport with a valid re-entry permit issued by the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It does not refer to any other holder of a Taiwan passport or a passport issued the People's Republic of China.
* * * *
June 10, 1994
Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service.
June 21, 1994
Mary A. Ryan,
Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Department of State
June 23, 1994
Leslie M. Turner,
Assistant Secretary for Territorial and International Affairs Department of the Interior.