Justice Dept. Issues Final Rule On Firearms Disabilities For Some Nonimmigrant Aliens

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[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 110 (Thursday, June 7, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 33625-33630]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-13762]

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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

27 CFR Part 478

[Docket No. ATF 24F; AG Order No. 3336-2012]
RIN 1140-AA08

Firearms Disabilities for Certain Nonimmigrant Aliens (2001R-
332P)

AGENCY: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF),
Department of Justice.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In 2002, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and
Explosives (ATF) published an interim final rule implementing the
provision of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental
Appropriations Act, 1999, relating to firearms disabilities for certain
nonimmigrant aliens. That regulation implemented the law by
prohibiting, with certain exceptions, the sale or disposition of
firearms or ammunition to, and the possession, shipment,
transportation, or receipt of firearms or ammunition by, nonimmigrant
aliens.
    The Department of Justice has now determined that the relevant
statutory prohibitions on transfer and possession of firearms and
ammunition apply only to nonimmigrant aliens who were admitted to the
United States under a nonimmigrant visa, and that the prohibitions do
not apply to nonimmigrant aliens who lawfully entered the United States
without a visa. The Department is therefore issuing this rule to make
conforming changes to the regulations, so that the regulations are
consistent with the Department's current legal interpretation.
    This final rule addresses only the nonimmigrant alien visa issue.
The remaining issues raised by the 2002 interim final rule, and the
public comments submitted with respect to those issues, will be
addressed in a separate forthcoming rule.

DATES: This rule is effective July 9, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James P. Ficaretta, Enforcement
Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and
Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York Avenue NE.,
Washington, DC 20226; telephone: 202-648-7094.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    On October 21, 1998, Congress enacted the Omnibus Consolidated and
Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, Public Law 105-277,
112 Stat. 2681 (``the Act'' or ``the 1998 Act''). Among other things,
that Act amended the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended (18 U.S.C.
Chapter 44), to enact the provisions now codified in 18 U.S.C.
922(d)(5)(B) and 922(g)(5)(B). These provisions expanded the list of
aliens subject to certain firearms and ammunition prohibitions by
proscribing, with certain exceptions, the sale or disposition of
firearms or ammunition to, and the possession, shipment,
transportation, or receipt of firearms or ammunition by, aliens
admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa. These
prohibitions became effective upon the date of enactment.
    Section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8
U.S.C. 1101(a)(15), describes various categories of nonimmigrant
aliens, including, for example, diplomats, temporary visitors for
business or pleasure, foreign students, participants in exchange
programs, fianc[eacute]e(s), and various categories of temporary
workers in the United States. Not all nonimmigrant aliens admitted to
the United States require a visa; for example, some nonimmigrant aliens
may be admitted under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). See 8 U.S.C. 1187.
    Section 922(g)(5)(A) of title 18 makes it unlawful for any person
who is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States to ship or
transport any firearm or ammunition in interstate or foreign commerce,
or receive any firearm or ammunition that has been shipped or
transported in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess any firearm
or ammunition in or affecting commerce. Section 922(d)(5)(A) makes it
unlawful for any person to sell or

[[Page 33626]]

otherwise dispose of a firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or
having reasonable cause to believe that the recipient is an alien
illegally or unlawfully in the United States.
    The 1998 Act amended section 922(g)(5) to expand the list of
persons who may not lawfully ship, transport, possess, or receive
firearms or ammunition to include, with certain exceptions, aliens
admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, as that term
is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)). The
Act also amended section 922(d)(5) to make it unlawful to sell or
dispose of a firearm or ammunition to an alien who has been admitted to
the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, as that term is defined in
section 101(a)(26) of the INA. There are exceptions to these general
rules regarding aliens who have been admitted under nonimmigrant visas.
As specified in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2), the prohibition does not apply if
the nonimmigrant alien is:
    ``(A) Admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting
purposes or is in possession of a hunting license or permit lawfully
issued in the United States;
    (B) an official representative of a foreign government who is--
    (i) accredited to the United States Government or the Government's
mission to an international organization having its headquarters in the
United States, or
    (ii) en route to or from another country to which that alien is
accredited;
    (C) an official of a foreign government or a distinguished foreign
visitor who has been so designated by the Department of State; or
    (D) a foreign law enforcement officer of a friendly foreign
government entering the United States on official law enforcement
business.''
    In addition, section 922(y)(3) provides that any individual who has
been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa may
receive a waiver from the prohibition contained in section 922(g)(5)(B)
if the Attorney General approves a petition for the waiver.

II. Interim Final Rule and Request for Comments

    On February 5, 2002, ATF published in the Federal Register an
interim final rule implementing the provisions of the 1998 Act relating
to firearms disabilities for nonimmigrant aliens (67 FR 5422). On that
same date, ATF also published in the Federal Register a proposed rule
soliciting comments on the interim regulations (Notice No. 935, 67 FR
5428).
    With respect to the scope of the statutory prohibitions for
nonimmigrant aliens, which is the sole focus of this final rule, ATF
noted in the interim rule that a nonimmigrant visa does not itself
provide nonimmigrant status. A visa simply facilitates travel, and
expedites inspection and admission to the United States, by showing
that the State Department does not believe the individual to be
inadmissible and has authorized him or her to apply for admission at a
U.S. port of entry. Moreover, ATF asserted that, at that time, just
under fifty percent of nonimmigrant aliens required a nonimmigrant visa
to enter the United States. Other nonimmigrant aliens fell within
various categories that were exempt from the nonimmigrant visa
requirement for admission to the United States (e.g., aliens eligible
for travel under the Visa Waiver Program; most Canadian visitors).
Finally, ATF explained its belief that it would be inconsistent with
the legislative history of the Act to adopt an interpretation of the
prohibition that did not include all nonimmigrants lawfully admitted to
the United States.
    Based on these reasons, ATF interpreted the 1998 Act's statutory
prohibitions to apply to any alien in the United States in a
nonimmigrant classification, as defined by section 101(a)(15) of the
INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)). That definition included, in large part,
persons visiting the United States temporarily for business or
pleasure, persons studying in the United States who maintain a
residence abroad, and various categories of temporary foreign workers.
    The interim rule also amended the regulations to give the Attorney
General or his delegate the authority to require nonresidents bringing
firearms and ammunition into the United States for hunting or sporting
purposes to obtain an import permit (except for those exempt
importations specified in the regulations).\1\
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    \1\ The text of the regulations expressly provides that the
Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate possesses the authority to
require these permits. After the January 2003 transfer of ATF from
the Department of the Treasury to the Department of Justice,
however, references to the Secretary of the Treasury were ``deemed
to refer'' to the Attorney General. See 28 CFR 0.133(a)(4).
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    The comment period for Notice No. 935 closed on May 6, 2002.

III. Analysis of Comments: The Interim Rule is Inconsistent With the
Plain Language of the Statute Regarding the Application of the
Nonimmigrant Alien Prohibition

    In response to Notice No. 935, ATF received 72 comments. Several
commenters disagreed with ATF's broad interpretation that the new
prohibitions on transfer and possession of firearms and ammunition in
18 U.S.C. 922(d)(5)(B) and 922(g)(5)(B) applied to all aliens in the
United States in a nonimmigrant classification, not just those aliens
who were admitted to the United States with a nonimmigrant visa.
    For example, one commenter (Comment No. 60) noted that:

    Nonimmigrant aliens not required to have visas are primarily
Canadians or citizens of countries in the Visa Waiver Program (which
are friendly to the U.S.), and this new statutory prohibition
plainly does not apply to them. * * * The proposed rule should be
redrafted to conform to the statute.
The commenter further stated that, ``[b]y confining the reach of the
provision to aliens admitted under a non-immigrant visa, Congress made
the policy decision not to include aliens from countries from which the
United States does not require a visa.''
    Similar concerns were raised by other commenters, including a trade
association that represents the interests of importers and exporters of
firearms and ammunition on matters that impact the industry.
    The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) also disagreed with ATF's
interpretation, particularly with respect to the possible application
to foreign military personnel. DOD maintained that the regulations (1)
Are contrary to the plain language and legislative history of the Act,
(2) are inconsistent with existing ATF regulatory treatment of foreign
military personnel, and (3) have the potential to adversely affect
national security and the global war on terrorism. DOD also asserted
that Canadian and other allied military personnel are not admitted to
the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, but rather are part of the
Visa Waiver Program or are subject to other regulatory waivers.
    ATF also received a number of public comments on other aspects of
the interim rule. This final rule is limited solely to the nonimmigrant
visa provisions. All other issues raised by the interim rule, and the
public comments on those issues, will be addressed in a separate,
forthcoming final rule.

[[Page 33627]]

IV. Advice From the Office of Legal Counsel

    Given the commenters' concerns, in 2011 ATF requested the opinion
of the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) regarding
ATF's interpretation in the interim rule that the prohibition in 18
U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(B) applied to any alien who has the status of
``nonimmigrant alien,'' regardless of whether the alien required a visa
in order to be admitted to the United States. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
510, the Attorney General has delegated to OLC responsibility for,
among other things, preparing the formal opinions of the Attorney
General, rendering opinions to the various federal agencies, assisting
the Attorney General in the performance of his function as legal
advisor to the President, and rendering opinions to the Attorney
General and the heads of the various organizational units of the
Department of Justice. See 28 CFR 0.25.
    In an October 28, 2011 memorandum to ATF, OLC concluded that the
plain text of the statute applies only to nonimmigrant aliens who must
have visas to be admitted to the United States, not to all aliens with
nonimmigrant status: ``[t]he statutory reference to nonimmigrants
`admitted * * * under a nonimmigrant visa' * * * indicates that
Congress intended the firearms disabilities in section 922(g)(5)(B) to
apply only to a subset of nonimmigrants--namely those who possess a
`nonimmigrant visa.' '' \2\ OLC also found no affirmative support in
the legislative history for the conclusion that the prohibition applies
to all nonimmigrant aliens.
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    \2\ Memorandum for Stephen R. Rubenstein, Chief Counsel, Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, from Virginia A.
Seitz, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Re:
Nonimmigrant Aliens and Firearms Disabilities Under the Gun Control
Act 4 (Oct. 28, 2011) (first omission in original).
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V. The Present Final Rule

    Upon review of the comments and in light of the OLC opinion, the
Department is issuing a final rule that applies to the firearms
disabilities in section 922(d)(5)(B) and 922(g)(5)(B) only to aliens
admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, as that term
is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)).
Nonimmigrant aliens lawfully admitted to the United States without a
visa, pursuant either to the Visa Waiver Program or other exemptions
from visa requirements, will not be prohibited from shipping,
transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition, and the
regulations will also no longer proscribe the sale or other disposition
of firearms or ammunition to such nonimmigrant aliens.\3\
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    \3\ Under section 217 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187, 36 countries
have been designated for participation in the Visa Waiver Program,
and eligible nationals of those countries may seek admission to the
United States without a nonimmigrant visa as temporary visitors for
business or pleasure for up to 90 days, if otherwise admissible. See
8 CFR 217.2. VWP travelers are required to have a valid
authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization
prior to travel. See 8 CFR 217.5. There is a separate visa waiver
program for admission to Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern
Mariana Islands for eligible travelers from 12 designated countries
and geographic areas for temporary visits for business or pleasure
for up to 45 days. See 8 CFR 212.1(q). Nonimmigrant aliens may be
eligible for travel to the United States without a visa under
additional authorities. See, e.g., 8 CFR 212.1; 22 CFR 41.2(l);
http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html#countries.
    Canadian citizens are permitted to enter the United States as
nonimmigrants without a visa for most purposes. However, certain
categories of Canadians are required to enter with a visa (falling
within the nonimmigrant visa categories E, K, S, or V). See 8 CFR
212.1(a)(1); 22 CFR 41.2(a).
    Other regulatory provisions allow nationals of certain other
countries to enter the United States without a visa in limited
circumstances. See generally 8 CFR 212.1; 22 CFR 41.2. However, with
only very narrow exceptions, Mexican nationals generally require a
nonimmigrant visa (or a Border Crossing Card, Form DSP-150, which is
itself a visa) to be admitted to the United States. See 8 CFR
212.1(c); 22 CFR 41.2(g).
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    Accordingly, this final rule makes conforming revisions to the
regulations in 27 CFR 478.32, 478.44, 478.45, 478.99, 478.120, and
478.124. The final rule also amends the regulations by adding a
definition for the term ``Nonimmigrant visa'' that mirrors the
definition in section 101(a)(26) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)). ATF
will be making conforming changes to the Form 4473 and its
instructions. ATF is also making purely clarifying changes to the
language of Sec. Sec.  478.44 and 478.45 to more clearly state the
statutory exceptions.
    In addition, ATF is adding language in Sec.  478.120(a) (and will
also be revising the Form 6NIA) to make clear that nonimmigrants
lawfully admitted to the United States without a visa will continue to
be required to apply for and obtain an approved Form 6NIA if they are
temporarily importing or bringing firearms or ammunition into the
United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes. The amended
Sec.  478.120, however, will no longer require nonimmigrant aliens
admitted to the United States without a visa to submit documentation
that they fall within one of the exceptions in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2) or
the waiver in section 922(y)(3).\4\ The existing provisions of Sec. 
478.120 are being recodified in paragraph (b), which deals with aliens
who are admitted under a nonimmigrant visa (and who are required to
submit such documentation).
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    \4\ Aliens who desire to import firearms or ammunition for other
than legitimate hunting or lawful sporting purposes may apply for an
import permit by filing an ATF Form 6--Part I.
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    In the 2002 interim rule, ATF explained its reasons for imposing a
requirement that nonimmigrants bringing firearms and ammunition into
the United States for hunting or sporting purposes obtain an import
permit. See 67 FR at 5424; see also 27 CFR 478.115(e)
(``Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (d) (1), (2), (3), (4)
and (5) of this section, the [Attorney General] or his delegate may in
the interest of public safety and necessity require a permit for the
importation or bringing into the United States of any firearms or
ammunition.''). Even though aliens admitted to the United States who
did not require a nonimmigrant visa will no longer be subject to the
nonimmigrant prohibition on possession of firearms, the 2002 interim
rule also cited two additional reasons for requiring all nonimmigrant
aliens seeking to bring firearms or ammunition into the United States
to obtain import permits: ``It will also enable ATF to be aware of non-
immigrant aliens who are bringing or attempting to bring firearms or
ammunition into the United States. Finally, it will ensure
nonimportable firearms and ammunition do not enter the United States.''
67 FR 5424. In short, the permit process is designed to ensure that the
nonimmigrant aliens can lawfully possess a firearm in the United States
(i.e., that they do not fall within any of the other statutory
prohibitions on possession of firearms) and it gives ATF an opportunity
to conduct a background check on the applicant if warranted.\5\ Thus,
the language of Sec.  478.120(a) makes no change in the status quo for
nonimmigrant aliens lawfully admitted to the United States without a
visa, except that they will no longer be required to submit
documentation that they fall within one of the statutory exceptions for
the nonimmigrant prohibition, consistent with the changes being made in
this final rule.
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    \5\ Regulations at 28 CFR 25.6(j)(1) allow access to the
National Instant Criminal Background Check System Index for purposes
of providing information to federal agencies in connection with
issuance of a firearms-related or explosives-related permit or
license.
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    The remaining issues raised in the interim rule (including other
issues with respect to the regulations in 27 CFR 478.120 on importation
of firearms and ammunition), along with a discussion of the comments
received in response to these aspects of the interim rule, will be

[[Page 33628]]

addressed in a separate, forthcoming final rule.\6\
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    \6\ With respect to the concerns presented by DOD, ATF notes
that nonimmigrant aliens designated as distinguished foreign
visitors by the State Department, as well as foreign military
personnel, are exempt, under certain circumstances, from the general
prohibition on aliens possessing firearms in the United States.
Foreign military personnel are exempt from the prohibition when they
can verify that the firearm or ammunition they seek to possess is
for their exclusive use in performance of their official duties
while in the United States and that the firearm or ammunition will
be removed from the United States when they leave. This is
consistent with the information provided on ATF Form 6NIA (5330.3D),
Application/Permit for Temporary Importation of Firearms and
Ammunition by Nonimmigrant Aliens. General Information number 4
exempts certain diplomats, distinguished foreign visitors, law
enforcement officers of friendly foreign governments entering the
United States on official law enforcement business, and foreign
military officers entering the United States on official duty.
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How This Document Complies With the Federal Administrative Requirements
for Rulemaking

A. Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

    This rule has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with
Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' section
1(b), Principles of Regulation, and with Executive Order 13563,
``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.'' The Department of
Justice has determined that this rule is a ``significant regulatory
action'' under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), and accordingly
this rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget
(OMB). However, this rule will not have an annual effect on the economy
of $100 million, nor will it adversely affect in a material way the
economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the
environment, public health, or safety, or State, local or tribal
governments or communities. Accordingly, this rule is not an
economically significant rulemaking action for purposes of review under
Executive Order 12866.
    Further, the Department has assessed both costs and benefits of
this rule as required by Executive Order 12866, section 1(b)(6), and
has made a reasoned determination that the benefits of this regulation
justify the costs. The Department believes that the costs associated
with compliance with this final rule are minimal. This final rule does
not adversely affect U.S. businesses. This rule will simplify the
process for nonimmigrant aliens who were not admitted to the United
States under a nonimmigrant visa to purchase and rent items from these
businesses for legitimate purposes. There will be negligible cost or
time impact on individuals.

B. Executive Order 13132

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects 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 section 6
of Executive Order 13132, the Attorney General has determined that this
regulation does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant
the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.

C. Executive Order 12988

    This regulation meets the applicable standards set forth in
sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice
Reform.

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605-612) requires an
agency to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject
to notice and comment rulemaking requirements unless the agency
certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on
a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small
businesses, small not-for-profit enterprises, and small governmental
jurisdictions. The Attorney General has reviewed this regulation and,
by approving it, certifies that this rule will not have a significant
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    Most U.S. firearms dealers should not be significantly impacted by
this final rule. The restrictions on the purchase of firearms by aliens
admitted under a nonimmigrant visa have not changed under this final
rule. (The provisions of the interim final rule relating to these
aliens, and the public comments concerning these provisions, will be
addressed in a separate, forthcoming final rule.) Individuals traveling
to the United States with a valid hunting license, or registrations or
invitations to trade shows or competitive sporting events, are still
able to purchase ammunition and accessories and rent firearms.
Additionally, nonimmigrant aliens may purchase firearms for export to
their home countries. Moreover, nonimmigrants admitted to the United
States who did not require a visa are no longer considered to be
prohibited, and accordingly they would not need to avail themselves of
the exceptions under 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2) or the waiver under section
922(y)(3).

E. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 251 of the
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, 5 U.S.C.
804. 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
significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment,
productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based
enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and
export markets.

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, and
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100
million or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or
uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed
necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of
1995.

G. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The regulations that are being amended in this final rule revise
collections of information covered by the Paperwork Reduction Act of
1995, Public Law 104-13, 44 U.S.C. ch. 35, and its implementing
regulations, 5 CFR part 1320. The collections of information at
Sec. Sec.  478.44, 478.45, 478.120, and 478.124(c)(3)(iii), were
approved by OMB under control number 1140-0060 under the interim rule.
On November 15, 2011, the Department published a 60-day notice of
information collection in the Federal Register advising the public that
it was seeking an extension of the currently approved collection (1140-
0060) and requesting comments from the public and affected agencies on
the information collection (76 FR 70757). The comment period closed on
January 17, 2012. On January 20, 2012, the Department published a
notice in the Federal Register advising that it was seeking public
comment for an additional 30 days (77 FR 3006). The extended comment
period closed on February 21, 2012 (77 FR 4828, Jan. 31, 2012). ATF did
not receive any comments concerning the information collection.
However, ATF has advised OMB of certain changes that needed to be made
to the approved information collection as a result of this final rule,
e.g., number of respondents, burden hours, etc.
    In addition, ATF requested emergency clearance from OMB of
revisions to

[[Page 33629]]

control number 1140-0020 (Form 4473) to conform with these regulatory
changes, and OMB approved those revisions on April 13, 2012, for a
period of 180 days.
    ATF also intends to make revisions to Form 6NIA (approved by OMB
under control number 1140-0084), Form 7 (approved by OMB under control
number 1140-0018), and Form 7CR (approved by OMB under control number
1140-0038) to conform with the regulatory changes made in this final
rule. These information collections will be submitted to OMB for review
and approval. In the interim, to ensure that these forms are completed
in a way that conforms with this regulation, ATF will distribute an
informational notice with the affected forms notifying applicants of
the changes and providing clarification as to the proper completion of
the forms.
    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid
control number assigned by OMB.

Disclosure

    Copies of the interim rule, the notice of proposed rulemaking
(NPRM), all comments received in response to the NPRM, and this final
rule will be available for public inspection by appointment during
normal business hours at: ATF Reading Room, Room 1E-062, 99 New York
Avenue NE., Washington, DC 20226; telephone: 202-648-8740.

Drafting Information

    The author of this document is James P. Ficaretta, Enforcement
Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and
Explosives.

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 478

    Administrative practice and procedure, Arms and ammunition,
Authority delegations, Customs duties and inspection, Domestic
violence, Exports, Imports, Law enforcement personnel, Military
personnel, Nonimmigrant aliens, Penalties, Reporting requirements,
Research, Seizures and forfeitures, and Transportation.

Authority and Issuance

    Accordingly, for the reasons discussed in the preamble, 27 CFR part
478 is amended as follows:

PART 478--COMMERCE IN FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION

0
1. The authority citation for 27 CFR part 478 is revised to read as
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a); 18 U.S.C. 847, 921-931; 44 U.S.C.
3504(h).

0
2. Section 478.11 is amended by adding a definition for the term
``Nonimmigrant visa'' in alphabetical order to read as follows:

Sec.  478.11  Meaning of terms.

* * * * *
    Nonimmigrant visa. A visa properly issued to an alien as an
eligible nonimmigrant by a competent officer as provided in the
Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.
* * * * *

0
3. Section 478.32 is amended by revising the introductory text of
paragraphs (a)(5)(ii) and (d)(5)(ii), and by revising paragraph (f), to
read as follows:

Sec.  478.32  Prohibited shipment, transportation, possession, or
receipt of firearms and ammunition by certain persons.

    (a) * * *
    (5) * * *
    (ii) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, has been
admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa: Provided, That
the provisions of this paragraph (a)(5)(ii) do not apply to any alien
who has been lawfully admitted to the United States under a
nonimmigrant visa, if that alien is--
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (5) * * *
    (ii) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, has been
admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa: Provided, That
the provisions of this paragraph (d)(5)(ii) do not apply to any alien
who has been lawfully admitted to the United States under a
nonimmigrant visa, if that alien is--
* * * * *
    (f) Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(3), any individual who has been
admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa may receive a
waiver from the prohibition contained in paragraph (a)(5)(ii) of this
section if the Attorney General approves a petition for the waiver.

0
4. Section 478.44 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1)(iii), and by
revising the second sentence in paragraph (b), to read as follows:

Sec.  478.44  Original license.

    (a)(1) * * *
    (iii) If the applicant (including, in the case of a corporation,
partnership, or association, any individual possessing, directly or
indirectly, the power to direct or cause the direction of the
management and policies of the corporation, partnership, or
association) is an alien who has been admitted to the United States
under a nonimmigrant visa, applicable documentation demonstrating that
the alien falls within an exception specified in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2)
(e.g., a hunting license or permit lawfully issued in the United
States) or has obtained a waiver as specified in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(3);
and
* * * * *
    (b) * * * If the applicant (including, in the case of a
corporation, partnership, or association, any individual possessing,
directly or indirectly, the power to direct or cause the direction of
the management and policies of the corporation, partnership, or
association) is an alien who has been admitted to the United States
under a nonimmigrant visa, the application must include applicable
documentation demonstrating that the alien falls within an exception
specified in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2) (e.g., a hunting license or permit
lawfully issued in the United States) or has obtained a waiver as
specified in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(3). * * *
* * * * *
0
5. Section 478.45 is amended by revising the second sentence to read as
follows:

Sec.  478.45  Renewal of license.

    * * * If the applicant is an alien who has been admitted to the
United States under a nonimmigrant visa, the application must include
applicable documentation demonstrating that the alien falls within an
exception specified in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2) (e.g., a hunting license or
permit lawfully issued in the United States) or has obtained a waiver
as specified in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(3). * * *
* * * * *

0
6. Section 478.99 is amended by revising the introductory text of
paragraph (c)(5) to read as follows:

Sec.  478.99  Certain prohibited sales or deliveries.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (5) Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States or,
except as provided in Sec.  478.32(f), is an alien who has been
admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa: Provided, That
the provisions of this paragraph (c)(5) do not apply to any alien who
has been lawfully admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant
visa if that alien is--
* * * * *

0
7. Section 478.120 is revised to read as follows:

[[Page 33630]]

Sec.  478.120  Firearms or ammunition imported by or for a nonimmigrant
alien.

    (a) General. A nonimmigrant alien temporarily importing or bringing
firearms or ammunition into the United States for lawful hunting or
sporting purposes must first obtain an approved ATF Form 6NIA
(5330.3D).
    (b) Aliens admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa.
(1) Any alien lawfully admitted to the United States under a
nonimmigrant visa who completes an ATF Form 6NIA to import firearms or
ammunition into the United States, or any licensee who completes an ATF
Form 6 to import firearms or ammunition for such nonimmigrant alien,
must attach applicable documentation to the Form 6NIA or Form 6
establishing the nonimmigrant alien falls within an exception specified
in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2) (e.g., a hunting license or permit lawfully
issued in the United States) or has obtained a waiver as specified in
18 U.S.C. 922(y)(3).
    (2) Aliens admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa
importing or bringing firearms or ammunition into the United States
must provide the United States Customs and Border Protection with
applicable documentation (e.g., a hunting license or permit lawfully
issued in the United States) establishing the nonimmigrant alien falls
within an exception specified in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2) or has obtained a
waiver as specified in 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(3) before the firearm or
ammunition may be imported. This provision applies in all cases,
whether or not a Form 6 is needed to bring the firearms or ammunition
into the United States.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number
1140-0060)

0
8. Section 478.124 is amended by revising paragraph (c)(3)(iii) to read
as follows:

Sec.  478.124  Firearms transaction record.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (iii) Must, in the case of a transferee who is an alien admitted to
the United States under a nonimmigrant visa who states that he or she
falls within an exception to, or has a waiver from, the prohibition in
section 922(g)(5)(B) of the Act, have the transferee present applicable
documentation establishing the exception or waiver, note on the Form
4473 the type of documentation provided, and attach a copy of the
documentation to the Form 4473; and
* * * * *

    Dated: June 1, 2012.
Eric H. Holder, Jr.,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 2012-13762 Filed 6-6-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-FY-P

This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

Bangladesh Immigration

Indonesia Immigration

I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

Adjustment of Status

Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

Employees working in USA

Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

EB4 category is for religious workers.

“Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

Central Intelligence Agency

Department of Homeland Security

Department of Justice

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

Internal Revenue Service

Office of Management and Budget

Social Security Administration

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

Approval Date (When your application was approved)

Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

Assistant Field Office Director

Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Adjudications Officer

Administrative Review

Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

Birth Certificate

Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

Board of Immigrant Appeals

Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

Customs and Border Protection

Central Intelligence Agency

Citizenship and Immigration Services

Consulate Officer

Consular Processing

Conditional Permanent Resident

Curricular Practical Training

Central Regional Office

California Service Center

Cancelled Without Prejudice

Deputy Field Office Director

Department of Homeland Security

Drivers License

Department of Motor Vehicles

Department of Justice

Department of Labor

Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

Department of State

Detention and Removal Operations

Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

Eastern Application Center

Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

Electronic Data Systems

Executive Office of Immigration Review

Expedited Removal

Eastern Regional Office

Entered Without Inspection

Foreign Affairs Manual

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Field Office Director

Finger Print

File Transfer Request

Green Card

Immigration Judge

International Marriage Brokers Act

Immigration and Nationality Act

Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

Internal Revenue Service

Internet Service Provider

Immigrant Visa

Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

John F. Kennedy International Airport

Kentucky Consular Center

Labor Condition Application

Lawful Permanent Resident

Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

Machine Readable Data

Machine Readable Passport

Machine Readable Visa

Missouri Service Center

Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

National Data Entry Center

Non Immigrant Visa

Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

Notice of Proposed Rule Making

Notice To Appear

Nebraska Service Center

National Visa Center

New York District Office

Office of Management and Budget

Optional Practical Training

Other Than Mexican

Police Clearance Certificate

Priority Date

Port of Entry

Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

Quality Assurance

Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

Remote Adjudications Center

Request for Evidence

Request for Initial Evidence

Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

Student Exchange Visitor Information System

Student and Exchange Visitor Program

Social Security Administration

Social Security Number

State Workforce Agency

When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

Temporary Protected Status

Texas Service Center

Transit Without Visa

US Citizen

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

Voluntary Return

Vermont Service Center

Visa Waiver Program

Western Application Center

Western Regional Office

Alien's Change of Address Form

NAFTA Professional visa

NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

Pre-Flight Inspection

PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Interim EAD

Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

Employment Eligibility Verification

Affidavit of Support

Application for Employment Authorization

Green Card

Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

Welcome Notice

Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

Affidavit of Support

Application for Travel Document

Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

Administrative Appeals Office

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

American Immigration Lawyers Association

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

Includes Zoologists, Botanists

Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

Fashion Models

Hotel management and related professions

An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

Violence Against Women Act

Child Status Protection Act

Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

Vermont Service Center

California Service Center

Nebraska Service Center

Texas Service Center

Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization

Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

1. Where can I find the DS-160?
You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

United Kingdom

Cyprus Immigration

Japan

France

Germany

Ireland

Kuwait Immigration

Saudi Arabia Immigration

United Arab Emirates Immigration

Singapore Immigration

Chile Immigration

China Immigration new

Egypt Immigration

France Immigration

Malaysia Immigration

Maldives Immigration

Malta Immigration

Mauritius Immigration

Nepal Immigration

Norway Immigration

New Zealand Immigration

Romania Immigration

South Africa Immigration

South Korea Immigration

Sweden Immigration

Switzerland immigration

Trinidad immigration

In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

NVC’s Role

The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

(l) Designated official.

(1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

(i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
the United States.

(ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

(iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
including the PDSO.

The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

Introduction:

VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

Purpose of VIBE:

The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

Specific information related to our team and this site.

Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
What Is Automatic Revalidation?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

More Information about Automatic Revalidation

For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
Applied for a new visa and was denied;
Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

Additional Resources – Laws

The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
We Want You to Know

Visa News
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Diversity Visa
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Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
Fraud Warning

Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

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