\ fr \ Federal Register Publications (CIS, ICE, CBP) \ Federal Register Publications (CIS, ICE, CBP) - 2003 \ FEDERAL REGISTER INTERIM REGULATIONS - 2003 \ Removal of Visa and Passport Waiver for Certain Permanent Residents of Canada and Bermuda [68 FR 5190] [FR 9-03]
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Removal of Visa and Passport Waiver for Certain Permanent Residents of Canada and Bermuda [68 FR 5190] [FR 9-03]
FEDERAL REGISTER CITE:
68 FR 5190
DATE OF PUBLICATION:
January 31, 2003
BILLING CODE: 4410-10
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Immigration and Naturalization Service
8 CFR Parts 212, 231, 235 and 286
[INS No. 2202-02]
Removal of Visa and Passport Waiver for Certain Permanent
Residents of Canada and Bermuda
Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.
Interim rule with request for comments.
This rule amends the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service) regulations by providing that residents of Canada or Bermuda having a common nationality with Canadian nationals or with British subjects in Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport and visa when applying for admission to the United States. Nationals of Ireland and British Commonwealth countries, who reside in Canada, will be affected by this change. The Service is taking this action, revoking the prior passport and visa exem
ption for these individuals, in conjunction with the Department of State. (See Department of State regulations published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.) This rule is intended to increase security and safeguard the United States.
: This rule is effective March 17, 2003.
: Written comments must be submitted on or before April 1, 2003.
Please submit written comments to the Director, Regulations, Forms and Services Division, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW., Room 4034, Washington, DC, 20536. To ensure proper handling, please reference the INS No. 2202-02 on your correspondence. You may also submit comments electronically to the Service at firstname.lastname@example.org. When submitting comments electronically, please include INS No. 2202-02 in the subject box. Comments are available for public inspection at the above location
by calling (202) 514-3048 to arrange for an appointment.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Joyce Broughman, Assistant Chief Inspector, Office of Inspections, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW., Room 4064, Washington, DC 20536, telephone (202) 514-3019.
Section 212(d)(4)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act) permits the Attorney General and the Secretary of State (acting jointly) to waive the passport and visa requirements of section 212(a)(7)(B)(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(7), for admission to the United States in nonimmigrant status. This waiver may be granted on the basis of reciprocity with respect to nationals of foreign contiguous territories or adjacent islands or for residents of those territories or islands who have a common national
ity with those nationals.
Service regulations at 8 CFR 212.1(a) implement this waiver authority for Canadian citizens, British subjects in Bermuda and certain aliens from other islands. In addition, the current regulations provide a waiver of the passport and visa requirements for residents of Canada or Bermuda who have a common nationality with citizens of Canada or with British subjects in Bermuda. This latter waiver includes citizens of British Commonwealth countries as well as citizens of Ireland. Nationals of 54 countries who r
eside in Canada or Bermuda currently benefit from this waiver. Country List “A” following the chart Current versus New Documentary Requirements lists the British Commonwealth countries as of the publication date of this regulation.
This rule eliminates the existing waiver for aliens, who are nationals of Ireland or the British Commonwealth countries listed above, who reside in either Canada or Bermuda and are not citizens of Canada or the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda.
Residents of Canada or Bermuda who are nationals of a designated Visa Waiver country listed in § 217.2(a), who present a valid passport issued by that country, may continue to be admitted without a visa if they are entering the United States for less than 90 days for business or pleasure. Countries that have been designated as eligible for the Visa Waiver Program may be found in Country List “B” after the chart “Current versus New Documentary Requirements'.
This rule does not alter existing waivers of passport and visa for Canadian citizens or for British subjects in Bermuda. In amending § 212.1(a), it is broken into subsections (1) through (4) to make the documentary requirements clearer to the reader. This rule makes no changes to the current documentary requirements for Bahamian nationals or British subjects resident in The Bahamas or British subjects resident in the Cayman Islands or in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The following chart shows the current and new documentary requirements for residents of Canada and Bermuda.
Current versus New Documentary Requirements
Note: The chart has been omitted from INSERTS. To view the chart please go to the following url:
The following list of countries comprises Country List “A”--British Commonwealth Countries
: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji Islands, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, The Bahamas, The Gambia, T
onga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
The following list of countries comprises Country List “B”--Visa Waiver Program countries
(see 8 CFR 217.2): Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. The United Kingdom refers only to British citizens who have the unrestricted right of permanent abode in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle o
f Man); it does not refer to British overseas citizens, British dependent territories' citizens, or citizens of British Commonwealth countries.
Elimination of the Passport and Visa Waiver for Nationals of Commonwealth Countries or of Ireland who are Residents of Canada or Bermuda
In light of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Service, in conjunction with the Department of State, has determined that it is in the public interest to reconsider the existing waiver for such aliens. Because the Department of State requires special clearance procedures for nationals of some countries that are beneficiaries of the waiver, the Department of State and the Service have determined that requiring a passport and visa for these aliens will provide a higher level of security for the U
nited States. Current beneficiaries of the waiver include nationals from countries with high rates of documentary and immigration fraud and abuse and nationals from countries with high nonimmigrant refusal rates. In many cases, documents presented by beneficiaries of the waiver do not meet current document security standards.
In view of these determinations, the Service is amending its current nonimmigrant documentary regulations in § 212.1(a) to eliminate the passport and visa waiver for residents of Canada or Bermuda who have a common nationality with citizens of Canada or with British subjects in Bermuda. Accordingly, such nationals will be required to present visas and passports when applying for admission to the United States. The Service also notes that, as a result of eliminating this existing waiver, these aliens will no
w be subject to 8 CFR 235.1(f)(1) and upon arrival shall be issued, upon payment of the appropriate fee for land border admissions, a Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record as evidence of the terms of their admission.