[Federal Register: November 1, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 211)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
22 CFR Part 42
[Public Notice 7391]
Visas: Documentation of Immigrants Under the Immigration and
Nationality Act, as Amended
AGENCY: State Department.
ACTION: Interim final rule.
SUMMARY: This rule amends the Department of State's regulations
relating to adoptions in countries party to The Hague Convention on the
Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry
Adoption, to include new adoption provisions from the International
Adoption Simplification Act. This legislation provides for sibling
adoption to include certain children who are under the age of 18 at the
time the petition is filed on their behalf, and also certain children
who attained the age of 18 on or after April 1, 2008 and who are the
beneficiaries of a petition filed on or before November 30, 2012.
Effective Date: This rule is effective November 1, 2011.
Comment Date: The Department will accept comments from the public
up to December 1, 2011.
You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
Email: BeaumontTW@state.gov (Subject line must read IASA
Mail: Chief, Legislation and Regulation Division, Visa
Services--IASA Sibling Reg., 2401 E. Street, NW., Washington, DC 20520-
``Persons with access to the Internet may view this notice
and provide comments by going to the regulations.gov Web site at:
http://www.regulations.gov/index.cfm, and searching on the Public
Notice number 7391.''
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Taylor W. Beaumont, Legislation and
Regulations Division, Visa Services, Department of State, 2401 E
Street, NW., Room L-603D, Washington, DC 20520-0106, who may be reached
at (202) 663-1202.
As used in this public notice, the term ``Convention'' means The
Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect
of Intercountry Adoption; the term ``Convention country'' means a
country that is a party to the Convention and with which the Convention
is in force for the United States; and the term ``IASA'' means the
International Adoption Simplification Act, Public Law 111-287 (2010).
Why is the Department promulgating this rule?
On November 30, 2010, the President signed the IASA into law,
modifying the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as regards
adoptions from Convention countries. Among other changes, the IASA
creates a new INA Section 101(b)(1)(G)(iii) to allow U.S. citizens to
file an immediate relative petition for a child younger than 18 from a
Convention country, provided that child is the natural sibling of a
child concurrently or already adopted or being brought to the United
States for adoption under INA Sections 101(b)(1)(E)(i), (F)(i), or
(G)(i). To qualify as a child who is covered under INA Section
101(b)(1)(G)(iii), a child must be adopted abroad, or be coming to the
United States for adoption, by the adoptive parent(s) or prospective
adoptive parent(s) of his/her natural sibling. In addition, the child
must be otherwise qualified as a Convention adoptee under INA Section
101(b)(1)(G)(i), except that the child is under 18 years of age rather
than under 16 years of age, as is required for classification under INA
The IASA contains an exception at Section 4(b) necessitating a
modification of the Department regulation contained in 22 CFR 42.24.
Under that section, an alien who is older than 18 years of age
nonetheless may be classified under INA Section 101(b)(1)(G)(iii) if
he/she turned 18 years of age on or after April 1, 2008 and his/her
immediate relative petition is filed not later than November 30, 2012.
As currently written, the Department's regulations pertaining to INA
Section 101(b)(1)(G) cover exclusively those children whose adoptions
will be governed by the Convention. Although aliens qualified under
IASA Section 4(b) will be emigrating from a Convention country, the
Convention only governs the adoption of children under the age of 18.
This rule is necessary to change Department regulations to cover aliens
properly qualified under IASA Section 4(b).
Administrative Procedure Act
The Department is publishing this rule as an interim final rule,
and with an effective date less than 30 days from the date of
publication, based on the ``good cause'' exceptions set forth at 5
U.S.C. 553(b) and 553(d)(3). Delaying implementation of this rule would
be contrary to the public interest, due to the effect of recent
legislation (the International Adoption Simplification Act). Because
current Department regulations do not contemplate the adoption of
children over the age of 18 in countries party to The Hague Convention
on Inter-Country Adoption, the lack of procedural certainty regarding
22 CFR 42.24 could forseeably cause undue confusion and delay for
American citizens pursuing their rights to adopt as provided by the
IASA. The Department will accept public comments for 30 days after
Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business
The Department of State has reviewed this regulation and certifies
that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a
substantial number of small entities. The Department of State notes
that this regulation, as it exclusively facilitates adoptions by U.S.
citizens, will have its greatest effect on individuals and not small
businesses. While American Adoption Service Providers (ASPs) are
essential to intercountry adoptions in Convention countries, this
regulation will have a negligible effect on these ASPs, as the
Department of State anticipates that this regulation will allow very
few adoptions that would not have already been possible in the absence
of this regulation.
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
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, Public Law 104-
121. 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 United States-based companies to compete
with foreign-based companies in domestic and import markets.
Executive Order 12866
The Department is exempt from Executive Order 12866 except to the
extent that it is promulgating regulations in conjunction with a
domestic agency that are significant regulatory actions. The Department
has reviewed this rule to ensure its consistency with the regulatory
philosophy and principles set forth in Executive Order 12866.
Consistent with Executive Order 12866, the Department does not consider
the rule to be an economically significant action within the scope of
section 3(f)(1) of the Executive Order since it is not likely to have
an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or to adversely
affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy,
competition, jobs, the environment, public health or
safety, or state, local or tribal governments or communities.
Executive Order 13563
The Department of State has considered this rule in light of
Executive Order 13563, dated January 18, 2011, and affirms that this
regulation is consistent with the guidance therein.
Executive Orders 12372 and 13132: Federalism
This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the
States, on the relationship between the national government and the
States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the
various levels of government. Nor will the rule have federalism
implications warranting the application of Executive Orders No. 12372
and No. 13132.
Executive Order 13175
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 requirement of Section 5 of Executive
Order 13175 does not apply to this rulemaking.
Paperwork Reduction Act
This rule does not impose information collection requirements under
the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C., Chapter 35.
List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 42
Immigration, Passports and Visas.
Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, 22 CFR part
42 is amended as follows:
1. The authority citation for part 42 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1104 and 1182; Pub. L. 105-277; Pub. L.
108-449; 112 Stat. 2681-795 through 2681-801; The Convention on
Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry
Adoption (done at the Hague, May 29, 1993), S. Treaty Doc. 105-51
(1998), 1870 U.N.T.S. 167 (Reg. No. 31922 (1993)); The Intercountry
Adoption Act of 2000, 42 U.S.C. 14901-14954, Pub. L. 106-279.
2. Section 42.24 is amended by revising paragraph (a) and adding
paragraph (n) to read as follows:
Sec. 42.24 Adoption under the Hague Convention on Protection of
Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption and the
Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000.
(a) Except as described in paragraph (n), for purposes of this
section, the definitions in 22 CFR 96.2 apply.
* * * * *
(n) Notwithstanding paragraphs (d) through (m) of this section, an
alien described in paragraph (n)(1) of this section may qualify for
visa status under INA section 101(b)(1)(G)(iii) without meeting the
requirements set forth in paragraphs (d) through (m) of this section.
(1) Per Section 4(b) of the Intercountry Adoption Simplification
Act, Public Law 111-287 (IASA), an alien otherwise described in INA
section 101(b)(1)(G)(iii) who attained the age of 18 on or after April
1, 2008 shall be deemed to meet the age requirement imposed by INA
section 101(b)(1)(G)(iii)(III), provided that a petition is filed for
such child in accordance with DHS requirements not later than November
(2) For any alien described in paragraph (n)(1) of this section,
the ``competent authority'' referred to in INA section
101(b)(1)(G)(i)(V)(aa) is the passport issuing authority of the country
Dated: October 21, 2011.
Janice L. Jacobs,
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2011-28281 Filed 10-31-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-P
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