Exchange Visitor Program-Secondary School Students, 68200-68208 [E9-30274]

Download as PDF 68200 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 245 / Wednesday, December 23, 2009 / Proposed Rules 2. Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and 3. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Amendment 39–13070 (68 FR 9509, February 28, 2003), corrected at 68 FR 14309, March 25, 2003, and adding the following new AD: Bombardier, Inc. (Formerly Canadair): Docket No. FAA–2009–0525; Directorate Identifier 2009–NM–027–AD. Comments Due Date (a) We must receive comments by January 19, 2010. Affected ADs (b) This AD supersedes AD 2003–04–21 R1, Amendment 39–13070. Applicability (c) This AD applies to Bombardier Model CL–600–2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 7003 and subsequent. cprice-sewell on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Subject (d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 11: Placards and markings. Reason (e) The mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) states: AD CF–2002–12 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2003–04–21, amendment 39–13070] mandated installation of revised overwing emergency exit placards showing that the exit door should be opened and disposed from a seated position. However, it was later discovered that the new placards illustrated an incorrect hand position for removal of the exit upper handle cover. These incorrect instructions could cause difficulty or delay when opening the overwing emergency exit. VerDate Nov<24>2008 13:33 Dec 22, 2009 Jkt 220001 As a result, the timely and safe evacuation of passengers and crew may be impeded. The required action includes replacing the incorrect placards with revised placards. Restatement of Certain Requirements of AD 2003–04–21 R1 (f) Unless already done, for airplanes identified in Table 1 of this AD, within 12 months after April 4, 2003 (the effective date of AD 2003–04–21 R1), replace the door weight placards, and no-baggage placards with new placards (including cleaning of the applicable surface), as applicable, per Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A601R– 11–077, Revision A, dated December 11, 2001, excluding Service Bulletin Comment Sheet-Facsimile Reply Sheet and CRJ 100/ 200 Service Bulletin Compliance Facsimile Reply Sheet. TABLE 1—SERIAL NUMBERS 7003 7436 7444 7454 7460 7499 through through through through through through Serial Nos. 7434 inclusive. 7442 inclusive. 7452 inclusive. 7458 inclusive. 7497 inclusive. 7504 inclusive. (g) Replacement accomplished before April 4, 2003, per Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A601R–11–077, dated July 12, 2001, is considered acceptable for compliance with the replacement specified in paragraph (f) of this AD. New Requirements of This AD Actions and Compliance (h) Unless already done, within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the existing overwing emergency exit placards with new placards in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R–11–088, Revision ‘A,’ dated March 24, 2009. (i) Replacing the overwing emergency exit placards with new placards before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R–11–088, dated June 25, 2008, is considered acceptable for compliance with the corresponding action specified in this AD. FAA AD Differences Other FAA AD Provisions (j) The following provisions also apply to this AD: (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Christopher Alfano, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE–171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Related Information (k) Refer to MCAI Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF–2009–02, dated January 19, 2009; Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A601R–11–077, Revision A, dated December 11, 2001; and Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R–11–088, Revision ‘A,’ dated March 24, 2009; for related information. Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 11, 2009. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E9–30419 Filed 12–22–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 62 [Public Notice: 6853] RIN 1400–AC56 Note 1: This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows: The MCAI applicability includes certain airplanes. This AD expands the applicability to include serial numbers 7003 and subsequent. PO 00000 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, New York 11590; telephone (516) 228–7340; fax (516) 794–5531. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your principal maintenance inspector (PMI) or principal avionics inspector (PAI), as appropriate, or lacking a principal inspector, your local Flight Standards District Office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD. AMOCs approved previously in accordance with AD 2003–04–21, Amendment 39–13070, are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD. (2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service. (3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120–0056. Sfmt 4702 Exchange Visitor Program—Secondary School Students Department of State. Proposed rule with request for comment. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The Department of State is proposing to amend and improve the Exchange Visitor Program regulations by providing greater specificity and clarity to sponsors of the Secondary School Student category with respect to the execution of sponsor oversight responsibilities under the exchange visitor programs. This section of the regulations governs Department E:\FR\FM\23DEP1.SGM 23DEP1 cprice-sewell on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 245 / Wednesday, December 23, 2009 / Proposed Rules designated exchange visitor programs under which foreign secondary school students (ages 15–181⁄2) are afforded the opportunity to study in the United States at an accredited public or private secondary school for an academic semester or an academic year while living with an American host family or residing at an accredited U.S. boarding school. Specifically, the Department is proposing to amend existing regulations regarding the screening, selection, school enrollment, orientation, and monitoring of overall quality assurance on behalf of student participants; and the screening, selection, orientation, and quality assurance monitoring of host families. This program is recognized as one of the Department’s most valued exchange initiatives. The Department believes, however, that the lack of sufficient specificity in the regulations or lack of suitable, minimum industry standards may have contributed to the placement of students with unacceptable, or poorly screened, host families thereby putting at risk the health, safety and well-being of this most vulnerable group of exchange visitors. The Department also recognizes that local coordinators, who serve as representatives (employees or volunteers) of the Secondary School Student sponsors and who have responsibility for obtaining school enrollment and locating and recruiting host families, are the critical link to a successful exchange program. Local coordinators exercise a degree of independent judgment when determining whether a potential host family is capable of providing a comfortable and nurturing home environment for a Secondary School Student, whether that family is an appropriate match for the student, and whether they have adequate financial resources to undertake hosting obligations. Accordingly, the Department proposes the adoption of an annual testing and certification program for all local and regional coordinators that will entail, inter alia, specifying more clearly the Department’s regulatory requirements as well as all sponsoring organization specific training required by the organization for whom the local and regional coordinators work. DATES: The Department will accept comments from the public up to February 22, 2010. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by any of the following methods: • Persons with access to the Internet may view this notice and provide comments by going to the VerDate Nov<24>2008 13:33 Dec 22, 2009 Jkt 220001 regulations.gov Web site at: http:// www.regulations.gov/index.cfm. • Mail (paper, disk, or CD–ROM submissions): U.S. Department of State, Office of Designation, SA–5, Floor 5, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522–0505. • E-mail: JExchanges@state.gov. You must include the title and RIN in the subject line of your message. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stanley S. Colvin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchanges, U.S. Department of State, SA–5, Floor 5, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522–0505; or e-mail at jexchanges@state.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department has authorized Secondary School Student programs since 1949, following passage of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 and adoption of 22 CFR Part 68—Exchange Visitor Program, establishing a student exchange program (14 FR 4592, July 22, 1949). Over the last 60 years, more than 850,000 foreign exchange students have lived in and learned about America through these Secondary School Student programs. In 1993, the United States Information Agency, the predecessor agency with oversight of the Exchange Visitor Program, substantially rewrote the regulations governing the Exchange Visitor Program, including the Secondary School Student category. (See 58 FR 15196, Mar. 19, 1993, as amended at 59 FR 34761, July 7, 1994, redesignated at 64 FR 54539, Oct. 7, 1999.) Since this time, significant changes in makeup of the American family and widespread access to new technologies have necessitated additional updates to the regulations governing the Secondary School Student Exchange Visitor Program category. In 2006, the Department adopted new regulations set forth at 22 CFR 62.25 to require Secondary School Student program sponsors to complete criminal background checks on all officers, employees, agents, representatives and volunteers acting on their behalf who have direct contact with exchange students and to require program sponsors to contact host families and students monthly. Additionally adopted were the requirements that all adult members of a host family household (age 18 or older) undergo a criminal background check prior to the placement of an exchange student in the home, and that sponsors must report any allegation of sexual misconduct to both the Department and local law enforcement authorities as required in that PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 68201 jurisdiction (see http:// www.childwelfare.gov for a list by state of child abuse and neglect statutes). (71 FR 16696, April 4, 2006.) Educational and cultural exchanges are the cornerstone of U.S. public diplomacy and an integral component of American foreign policy. Secondary School Student exchange programs promote mutual understanding by providing foreign students the opportunity to study in American high schools while living with an American host family. Not only are the students themselves transformed by these experiences, but so too are their families, friends, and teachers in their home countries. By studying and participating in daily student life in the United States, Secondary School Student participants gain an understanding of and an appreciation for the similarities and differences between their culture and that of the United States. These students enrich their schools and communities with different perspectives of other cultures and events, providing the local community with new and diverse perspectives. Secondary School Student exchanges also foster enduring relationships and lifelong friendships which help build longstanding ties between the people of the United States and other countries. American Secondary School Students are provided opportunities to increase their knowledge and understanding of the world through these friendships. Participating schools gain from the experience of having international students in the classroom, at afterschool activities, and in their community. The great majority of exchange students who come to the United States to attend high school become more accepting of the democratic values of American society and its cultural differences, grow in independence and maturity, improve their English language skills, and overall enjoy a positive life-changing experience. As with other Exchange Visitor Program categories, the underlying purpose of the Secondary School Student Program is to further U.S. diplomatic and foreign policy goals by encouraging this positive academic and social interaction. Experience has shown that these students will share the knowledge and goodwill derived from their exchanges with their fellow citizens upon return to their home countries. While most of the Department’s nearly 30,000 annual exchanges of secondary school students conclude with positive experiences for both the exchange student and the American E:\FR\FM\23DEP1.SGM 23DEP1 cprice-sewell on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 68202 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 245 / Wednesday, December 23, 2009 / Proposed Rules host family, a number of incidents have occurred recently with respect to student placement and oversight which demand the Department’s immediate attention. The success of the Secondary School Student program is dependent on the generosity of the American families who support this program by welcoming foreign students into their homes. The Department believes, however, that the current status of the U.S. economy has made it more difficult to find sufficient numbers of suitable host families. The number of qualified foreign students desiring to come to the United States for a year of high school continues to rise and student demand is now placing pressure on the ability of sponsors to identify available and appropriate host family homes. The Department desires to provide the means to permit as many exchange students into the United States as possible so long as we can ensure their safety and well-being, which is our highest priority. Recent incidents of placement of exchange students with unsuitable host families have brought the Department, Congress, the American public, and members of the exchange community together in an initiative to upgrade this program to ensure a safe and positive exchange experience for every foreign student invited to participate in this exchange program. To achieve this goal, the Department has engaged in a series of actions and outreach to focus the Secondary School Student exchange industry on best practices and continued improvement in selection and monitoring of host families and students. Prior to the development of this proposed rule, the Department published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register to solicit comments from sponsors and from the general public on current best practices in the industry. (See 74 FR 45385, September 2, 2009.) The Notice focused on six areas: (1) The utilization of a standard application form for all host family applications; (2) the requirement for photographs of all host family homes (to include bedrooms, living areas, kitchen, outside of house and grounds) as part of the host family application process; (3) whether the host family application references should include references from family members or local coordinators, and whether one reference should be from the school in which the student is enrolled; (4) whether fingerprint-based criminal background checks should be required of all adult host family members and sponsor officers, employees, representatives, VerDate Nov<24>2008 13:33 Dec 22, 2009 Jkt 220001 agents and volunteers who come, or may come, into direct contact with the students, and whether guidelines regarding the interpretation of criminal background checks are needed; (5) the establishment of baseline financial resources for potential host families, and (6) the establishment of limitations on the composition of potential host families. In light of the 97 comments received in response to the ANPRM, the Department has identified six areas that we believe will enhance the safety and well-being of foreign secondary school students studying in the United States. To effectively implement these changes, additional regulations are necessary. The following is an explanation of the proposed regulatory changes: 1. Standard Host Family Application Form The Department recognizes that many sponsors have invested significantly in technology to develop proprietary host family applications and application processing systems. The application formats used by sponsors vary but most contain uniform information required by the Department. Accordingly, the Department believes that standard information required for all host family applications, but processed in different formats, is preferable to a standard application form required for all potential host families. The required information fields can be found at Appendix F—‘‘Information to be collected on Secondary School Student Host Family Applications’’—of this rulemaking. 2. Requiring Photographs of the Host Family Home The Department finds that photographing potential host family homes is already standard practice with more than half of existing secondary student exchange sponsors. Many of the sponsors who commented on the recent Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking indicated that they find providing photographs to be a reasonable requirement and an industry ‘‘best practice’’ to prevent secondary school students from being placed in unhealthy environments. The Department concurs and considers this a ‘‘best practice’’ and proposes that all sponsors photograph the exterior, kitchen, student’s bedroom, bathroom, and family or living room of the potential host family’s home. 3. Personal Character References for Host Family Applicants The Department has determined that personal character references should not PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 include references from host family relatives or a sponsor representative (field staff or volunteers). The Department has also determined that obtaining a character reference from the school was not attainable and would be subject to privacy laws. 4. Measuring Host Family Financial Resources The Department has determined that regional differences in incomes and standards of living prevent adoption of a requirement that potential host families have a minimum household income. As such, a requirement would not fairly or accurately reflect cost of living differences for families in urban, suburban, exurban and rural areas, or determine the adequacy of the care the student will receive. However, the Department does not deem appropriate the placement of Secondary School Student exchange participants with host families receiving financial needs-based government subsidies for food or housing. Such families, by definition, lack sufficient financial resources to meet fully the financial obligations associated with hosting an exchange student. To assist sponsors in their required assessment of the host family’s ability to undertake hosting obligations, the Department finds it appropriate and necessary for Secondary School Student exchange sponsors to obtain an objective measurement to determine the financial capability of potential families to host an exchange student. The Department believes this objective measurement can be achieved through collecting certain information on the host family application form. Accordingly, the Department proposes that sponsors query potential host families regarding household income and include a box on the host family application form denoting annual household income level (less than $25,000, $25–$50,000, $50,000–$75,000, $75,000 and above). Collection of this information will also provide the Department the option to refine its understanding of the demographic profile of host families. In evaluating host family resources, sponsors need to be mindful of the host family’s obligation to provide three quality meals per day and ensure transportation to and from school and school activities. 5. Criminal Background Checks The Department has conducted significant analysis of this issue and recognizes that no single criminal background check, or combination of background checks, will guarantee that a potential host family member has no E:\FR\FM\23DEP1.SGM 23DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 245 / Wednesday, December 23, 2009 / Proposed Rules record of any encounters with the U.S. criminal justice system. As the U.S. Attorney General opined in the June 2006 ‘‘Attorney General’s Report on Criminal History Background Checks’’: cprice-sewell on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 No single source exists that provides complete and up-to-date information about a person’s criminal history. The FBImaintained criminal history database, however, is one of the better sources because it is based on positive identification and can provide, at a minimum, nationwide leads to more complete information. If provided such access, however, users may not want to rely exclusively on an FBI and state repository check and may also want to check other record sources, such as commercial databases and local courthouses to obtain more complete and up-to-date information in support of criminal history background screening. http://www.justice.gov/olp/ ag_bgchecks_report.pdf As detailed in the Attorney General’s Report, criminal background checks are primarily performed at the county, state and federal (FBI) levels and through private commercial vendors who operate as consumer reporting agencies. Each of these background checks provide certain information that the others do not; yet, collectively and individually, these records can be incomplete. Most crimes occur at the county level, and many, not all, county records are shared with state law enforcement and criminal repository agencies who in turn share some, not all, of these records with the FBI. In turn, the FBI maintains a database that includes all federal crimes in addition to an estimated 70–90% of state crimes. States simply do not report all required crimes to the FBI and many offenses such as DUIs are not required to be reported at all. State criminal history repositories also may not have records of offenses that have not been forwarded to them by local law enforcement agencies. A number of problems exist with conducting only a basic name and social security number background check through a private vendor, which include a lack of uniformity and comprehensiveness of records. Typically, private vendors purchase or gain access to criminal history information in bulk from county courthouses, state correctional facilities, and state criminal history repositories, creating databases searchable by an individual’s name and social security number. Private vendor databases are acknowledged to be incomplete. The scope of criminal history information available to private vendors varies greatly by state and county as several states and counties restrict access to VerDate Nov<24>2008 13:33 Dec 22, 2009 Jkt 220001 certain records or do not share or sell criminal history information to private vendors. It is important to note that FBI records are not made available to private vendor databases. Further, state and county repositories that sell or share information do not always provide private vendors with timely updates of new or revised records, resulting in outdated records in many private vendor databases. The Department finds that there is no standard across the industry and individual private vendors maintain their own diverse combinations of contracts with a variety of county and state criminal history repositories. A basic name and social security check by a private vender can also yield a false positive result (an individual’s name or social security number is mistaken for that of another individual) or a false negative result (an individual’s criminal record is missed because that individual provided a false name or false social security number). An accurate and updated private vendor check will, however, reveal residential information, as well as court, corrections, and sex offender record information. Due to the lack of uniformity of private vendor databases and potential for incomplete or inaccurate records, the Department finds significant potential for incomplete or inaccurate private vendor criminal background checks. Further complicating utilization of basic private vendor-conducted criminal background checks is the confusion arising from the cost associated with various searches. Although the non-governmental organization community is given a preferred rate for a basic name and social security number search, other search levels are available for additional fee (e.g. direct county and state criminal record searches). As noted above, regardless of cost, these private vendor searches suffer from the lack of complete data availability. An examination of the respective sources for criminal background checks follows: County Repository Search—Most crimes are prosecuted at the county level so most criminal records are found in county repositories. However, in a highly mobile society, it is very easy for someone to live in one county and commit a crime in another. In such a case, the crime would appear only in the county in which the crime was committed and a simple county of residence search would yield no record. State Repository Search—State records are considered the most complete source of criminal background records, yet suffer from the same limitations as the county search (a PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 68203 person could reside in one state and commit a crime in another). States also vary substantially in how well they maintain and update their criminal history repositories. Thus, a state search alone is inadequate. Private Vendor Search—Private vendor checks of an individual’s name and Social Security Number can yield misdemeanors and crimes that might not show up at the state or even county level due to inaccurate/insufficient reporting. A private vendor search also yields certain financial information not caught in the county, state or FBI searches. FBI Fingerprint-based Check—An FBI fingerprint-based search ensures correct identification of an individual and compares that individual’s record against the records of the 50 states and territories of the United States to locate crimes committed outside the state of residence or during residence in another state. In addition to the criminal background checks by private vendors currently required of program sponsors, the Department recognizes the necessity of the FBI fingerprint-based criminal background check, which unlike a commercial name and Social Security background check, guarantees that the individual has accurately identified him/herself. Though states should report arrests to the FBI, many do not fully do so, leaving open the possibility of an arrest or criminal record not appearing in an FBI fingerprint-based criminal background check. However, many misdemeanors and DUI arrests are captured through private vendor Social Security Number and name checks. Thus the Department finds that the safety and well-being of Secondary School Student participants would be best served by requiring the FBI fingerprint-based search supplemented by a private vendor search, and a National Sex Offender Registry check. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109– 248) requires FBI fingerprint-based checks for all prospective foster care or adoptive parents. Given the closely related nature of the placement of a foreign exchange student aged 15–18 with American host parents to that of a foster care placement or adoption (e.g., long-term residence of a child with a new ‘‘host’’ family) the Department proposes to mirror existing adoptive/ foster care criminal background check laws. In light of the Adam Walsh Act, the above cited Attorney General’s Report, and the direct correlation of a foster parent to an Exchange Visitor Program host parent, we propose to seek the FBI’s commitment to conduct E:\FR\FM\23DEP1.SGM 23DEP1 68204 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 245 / Wednesday, December 23, 2009 / Proposed Rules cprice-sewell on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 fingerprint-based criminal background checks on host family members. The Department also determined that the best combination of background checks should include: (1) An FBI fingerprint-based criminal background check; (2) A basic private vendor Social Security Number and name check; and (3) A National Sex Offender Registry check. The Department’s goal is to require that these checks be conducted annually on all potential host family members aged eighteen and older, including any family member who will turn eighteen years of age during the exchange visitor’s stay, as well as on all officers, employees, representatives, agents, and volunteers acting on a sponsor’s behalf. Though there is a significantly higher cost involved with an FBI fingerprintbased criminal background check (approximately $70 for many state and FBI fingerprint-based searches), than with the currently performed private vendor check of Social Security Number and name (approximately $4 for many non-profit organizations), the Department has determined that the safety of each Secondary School Student invited to participate in this program outweighs the additional costs. Finally, the Department has been advised that less than 1% of criminal background checks of potential host family members contain any negative information regarding criminal activity. Accordingly, the Department is considering adoption of a standard that will disqualify any potential host family applicant for whom a criminal background check reveals a negative record other than a parking violation. 6. Host Family Composition The Department does not define what constitutes a family; however, we take administrative notice that a family is considered to be more than one person. To ensure the Secondary School Student program’s integrity and original intent, no single adults will be allowed to host Secondary School Students. Families comprised of one adult with a school-aged (K–12) child living full-time in the home and families comprised of two adults will be permitted to host Secondary School Students. Further, this proposed rule includes three proposed changes and clarifications to existing regulations that will provide greater specificity and oversight improvements to better reflect what the Department deems to be current ‘‘best practices.’’ These changes include: (1) Prohibition of payment to host families; VerDate Nov<24>2008 13:33 Dec 22, 2009 Jkt 220001 (2) The requirement that a separate host family orientation be conducted after the host family application process has been completed; and (3) The requirement that the first monthly visit to the exchange student must be conducted by an organizational representative other than the local coordinator who found the host family and made the placement. Finally, the Department recognizes that the exercise of good judgment by sponsors’ local coordinators is the critical link to a successful exchange program. The Department proposes the adoption of a testing and certification program for all local and regional coordinators to be administered by the sponsors and to include a detailed explanation of the Department’s regulatory requirements in addition to individual training by the sponsor organization for whom the local coordinator works. This training will include a minimum of eight hours of instruction to provide a comprehensive understanding of the Exchange Visitor Program, its public diplomacy objectives, and the Secondary School Student category rules and regulations. The training will also include instructions on conflict resolution; how to handle and report emergency situations; sexual conduct codes and appropriate responses; the criteria to be used in screening potential host families; and the exercise of good judgment in determining the suitability of a host family placement. Training is to be conducted by a full-time staff member of the sponsor, and may be rendered in classroom, one-on-one, or via an online platform. If training is conducted online, the sponsor must demonstrate successful completion of the course by the local coordinator via on an online test. The Department will review all training materials and will require that these materials be provided with the sponsor application for designation or redesignation. The Department additionally proposes that local coordinators be required to undergo annual certification and a minimum of three hours of refresher training each year following completion of the original training. The refresher course will include an overview of the same categories of the eight-hour course as well as guidance on any new rules and regulations and current Secondary School Student program-wide issues. Visitor Program involves a foreign affairs function of the United States, it is nevertheless publishing this rule as a proposed rule, with a 60-day provision for public comments, consistent with the requirements of § 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act. Administrative Procedure Act While the Department is of the view that the Exchange Visitor Program is not governed by § 553 (Rulemaking) or § 554 (Adjudications) of the Administrative Procedure Act because the Exchange Executive Order 12866 The Department of State does not consider this rule to be a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), Regulatory Planning and Review. In addition, the PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business These proposed changes to the regulations are hereby certified as not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601– 612, and Executive Order 13272, section 3(b). Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 This proposed rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million in any 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. Executive Order 13175—Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments The Department 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 requirements of Section 5 of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to this rulemaking. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 This proposed rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804 for the purposes of Congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 801–808). 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 companies to compete with foreignbased companies in domestic and export markets. E:\FR\FM\23DEP1.SGM 23DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 245 / Wednesday, December 23, 2009 / Proposed Rules 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 nevertheless reviewed the regulation to ensure its consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in that Executive Order. Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT ACT), Public Law 107–56, Sec. 416, 115 Stat. 354; and the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, Public Law 107–173, 116 Stat. 543. Executive Order 12988 The Department has reviewed this regulation in light of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce burden. (a) Introduction. This section governs Department of State designated exchange visitor programs under which foreign national secondary school students are afforded the opportunity for up to one year of study in a United States accredited public or private secondary school, while living with an American host family or residing at an accredited U.S. boarding school. (b) Program sponsor eligibility. Eligibility for designation as a secondary school student exchange visitor program sponsor is limited to organizations: (1) With tax-exempt status as conferred by the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; and (2) Which are United States citizens as such term is defined in § 62.2. (c) Program eligibility. Secondary school student exchange visitor programs designated by the Department of State must: (1) Require all participants to be enrolled and participating in a full course of study at an accredited educational institution; (2) Allow entry of participants for not less than one academic semester (or quarter equivalency) nor more than two academic semesters (or quarter equivalency) duration; and (3) Be conducted on a U.S. academic calendar year basis, except for students from countries whose academic year is opposite that of the United States. Exchange students may begin in the second semester of a U.S. academic year if specifically permitted to do so, in writing, by the school in which the exchange visitor is enrolled. Both the host family and school must be notified prior to the exchange student’s arrival in the United States that the placement is for either an academic semester or year, or calendar year program. (d) Program administration. Sponsors must ensure that all officers, employees, representatives, agents, and volunteers acting on their behalf: (1) Are adequately trained and supervised, including completion of an eight hour Department-approved training course that provides a comprehensive understanding of the Exchange Visitor Program; its public diplomacy objectives; the Secondary Executive Orders 12372 and 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, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this regulation. Paperwork Reduction Act OMB Control Number 1405–0147 (Form DS–7000) applies to this information collection. The Department will seek an amendment to that collection to accommodate the new information to be requested under this rule, consistent with the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35. List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 62 Cultural exchange program. Accordingly, 22 CFR Part 62 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 62—EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM cprice-sewell on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 1. The Authority citation for Part 62 is revised to read as follows: Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(J), 1182, 1184, 1258; 22 U.S.C. 1431–1442, 2451 et seq.; Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105–277, Div. G, 112 Stat. 2681 et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1977, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp. p. 200; E.O. 12048 of March 27, 1978; 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 168; the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996, Pub. L. 104–208, Div. C, 110 Stat. 3009–546, as amended; Uniting and VerDate Nov<24>2008 13:33 Dec 22, 2009 Jkt 220001 2. Section 62.25 is revised to read as follows: § 62.25 PO 00000 Secondary school students. Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 68205 School Student category rules and regulations; sexual conduct codes; the screening of potential host families and the exercising of good judgment to determine what constitutes a suitable host family placement. Training will be conducted by a full-time staff member of the sponsor, and may be rendered in classroom, one-on-one, or via an online platform. Sponsors must demonstrate successful completion of the course by the local and regional coordinators. All sponsor training materials must be submitted to the Department for its review as part of the sponsor application for designation or redesignation. A three hour refresher training course is required for all local and regional coordinators each year following completion of the eight hour training course. The refresher course will include an overview of the same categories of the eight hour course as well as guidance on any new rules and regulations and current Secondary School Student program-wide issues. (2) Have been vetted annually through an FBI fingerprint-based criminal background check, a private vendorconducted basic name and social security number check, and a check of the National Sex Offender Registry. (3) Make no student placement beyond 120 miles of the home of a local organizational representative authorized to act on the sponsor’s behalf in both routine and emergency matters arising from an exchange student’s participation in the exchange visitor program; (4) Ensure that the host family undergoes a separate orientation to be conducted at a date after the host family application process concludes; (5) Ensure that no organizational representative act as both host family and a local coordinator or area supervisor for any single exchange student participant; (6) Maintain, at minimum, a monthly schedule of personal contact with the student and with the host family, including one in-person and in-private visit with the student, and ensure that the school has contact information (including the name, direct phone number, and email) for the local organizational representative and the program sponsor; (7) Ensure that the first monthly visit to the Secondary School Student must be conducted by a sponsor representative other than the local coordinator who found the host family and made the placement; and (8) Adhere to all regulatory provisions set forth in this Part and all additional terms and conditions governing program E:\FR\FM\23DEP1.SGM 23DEP1 cprice-sewell on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 68206 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 245 / Wednesday, December 23, 2009 / Proposed Rules administration that the Department may from time to time impose. (e) Student selection. In addition to satisfying the requirements of § 62.10(a), sponsors must ensure that all participants in a designated secondary school student exchange visitor program: (1) Are secondary school students in their home country who have not completed more than eleven years of primary and secondary study, exclusive of kindergarten; or are at least 15 years of age but not more than 18 years and six months of age as of the program start date; (2) Demonstrate maturity, good character, and scholastic aptitude; and (3) Have not previously participated in an academic year or semester secondary school student exchange program in the United States or attended school in the United States in either F–1 or J–1 visa status. (f) Student enrollment. (1) Sponsors must secure prior written acceptance for the enrollment of any exchange student participant in a United States public or private secondary school. Such prior acceptance must: (i) Be secured from the school principal or other authorized school administrator of the school or school system that the exchange student participant will attend; and (ii) Include written arrangements concerning the payment of tuition or waiver thereof if applicable. (2) Under no circumstance may a sponsor facilitate the entry into the United States of an exchange student for whom a written school placement has not been secured. (3) Sponsors must maintain copies of all written acceptances and make such documents available for Department of State inspection upon request. (4) Sponsors must provide the school with a translated ‘‘written English language summary’’ of the exchange student’s complete academic course work prior to commencement of school, in addition to any additional documents the school may require. Sponsors must inform the prospective host school of any student who has completed secondary school in his/her home country. (5) Sponsors may not facilitate the enrollment of more than five exchange students in one school unless the school itself has requested, in writing, the placement of more than five students. (6) Upon issuance of Form DS–2019 to a prospective participant, the sponsor accepts full responsibility for placing the student, except in cases of voluntary student withdrawal or visa denial. VerDate Nov<24>2008 13:33 Dec 22, 2009 Jkt 220001 (g) Student orientation. In addition to the orientation requirements set forth at § 62.10, all sponsors must provide exchange students, prior to their departure from the home country, with the following information: (1) A summary of all operating procedures, rules, and regulations governing student participation in the exchange visitor program along with a detailed summary of travel arrangements; (2) A copy of the Department’s letter to exchange students; (3) Age and language appropriate information on how to identify and report sexual abuse or exploitation; (4) A detailed profile of the host family in which the exchange student is placed. The profile must state whether the host family is either a permanent placement or a temporary-arrival family; (5) A detailed profile of the school and community in which the exchange student is placed; and (6) An identification card, which lists the exchange student’s name, United States host family placement address and telephone numbers, and sponsor name and main office contact numbers, the name and direct (as well as cellular) telephone number of the local coordinator and area representative and the Department of State office number and Secondary Student toll free number. The identification card must also contain the name of the health insurance provider and policy number. Such cards may be provided in advance of home country departure or immediately upon entry into the United States. (h) Student extra-curricular activities. Exchange students may participate in school sanctioned and sponsored extracurricular activities, including athletics, if such participation is: (1) Authorized by the local school district in which the student is enrolled; and (2) Authorized by the State authority responsible for determination of athletic eligibility, if applicable. (i) Student employment. Exchange students may not be employed on either a full or part-time basis but may accept sporadic or intermittent employment such as babysitting or yard work. (j) Host family selection. Sponsors must adequately screen and select all potential host families and at a minimum must: (1) Provide potential host families with a detailed summary of the exchange visitor program and the parameters of their participation, duties, and obligations; (2) Utilize a standard application form that must be signed and dated by all PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 potential host family applicants which provides a detailed summary and profile of the host family, the physical home environment (to include photographs of the host family home’s exterior and grounds, kitchen, student’s bedroom, student’s bathroom, and family and living areas), family composition and community environment. Exchange students are not permitted to reside with relatives of the host family. (3) Conduct an in-person, individualby-individual interview with all family members residing in the home; (4) Ensure that the host family is capable of providing a comfortable and nurturing home environment and that the student’s bedroom contains a separate bed for the student, not convertible or inflatable in nature, adequate storage space for the student’s clothes and personal belongings, reasonable access to bathroom facilities, study space if not otherwise available in the house and reasonable, unimpeded access to the outside of the house in the event of a fire or similar emergency. (5) Ensure that the host family has a good reputation and character by securing two personal references from within the community for each host family, which may not be obtained from relatives or representatives of the sponsor (i.e. field staff or volunteers), attesting to the host family’s good reputation and character; (6) Ensure that the host family has adequate financial resources to undertake hosting obligations and are not receiving needs-based government subsidies for food or housing; (7) Verify that each member of the host family household eighteen years of age and older, or each member of the host family household who will turn eighteen years of age during the exchange student’s stay in that household, has undergone an FBI fingerprint-based criminal background check, a private vendor-conducted basic name and social security number check, and a check of the National Sex Offender Registry; and (8) Maintain a record of all documentation, including but not limited to application forms, background checks, evaluations, and interviews, for all selected host families for a period of three years following completion of the student’s exchange program. (9) Ensure that potential single adult host parents have at least one schoolaged child living full-time in the host family home. (k) Host family orientation. In addition to the orientation requirements set forth in § 62.10, sponsors must: E:\FR\FM\23DEP1.SGM 23DEP1 cprice-sewell on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 245 / Wednesday, December 23, 2009 / Proposed Rules (1) Inform all host families of the philosophy, rules, and regulations governing the sponsor’s exchange visitor program, including examples of ‘‘worst practices’’ in the exchange experience; (2) Provide all selected host families with a copy of Department of Statepromulgated Exchange Visitor Program regulations and a copy of the Department of State letter to exchange student host families; and (3) Advise all selected host families of strategies for cross-cultural interaction and conduct workshops which will familiarize the host family with cultural differences and practices. (l) Host family placement. (1) Sponsors must secure, prior to the student’s departure from his or her home country, a permanent or arrival host family placement for each exchange student participant. Sponsors may not: (i) Facilitate the entry into the United States for an exchange student for whom a host family placement has not been secured; (ii) Place more than one exchange student with a host family without the express prior written consent of the Department of State. Under no circumstance may more than two exchange students be placed with one host family. (2) Sponsors must advise both the exchange student and host family, in writing, of the respective family compositions and backgrounds of each, whether the host family placement is a permanent or temporary placement, and facilitate and encourage the exchange of correspondence between the two prior to the student’s departure from the home country. (3) In the event of unforeseen circumstances which necessitate a change of host family placement, the sponsor must document the reason(s) necessitating such change and provide the Department of State with an annual statistical summary reflecting the number and reason(s) for such change in host family placement in the program’s annual report. (m) Reporting requirements. Along with the annual report required by regulations set forth at § 62.15, sponsors must file with the Department of State the following information: (1) Sponsors must immediately report to the Department any incident or allegation involving the actual or alleged sexual exploitation or abuse of an exchange student participant. Sponsors must also report such allegations as required by local or state statute or regulation. Failure to report such incidents to the Department and, as required by state law or regulation, to VerDate Nov<24>2008 13:33 Dec 22, 2009 Jkt 220001 local law enforcement authorities shall be grounds for the summary suspension and termination of the sponsor’s Exchange Visitor Program designation. (2) A summation of all situations which resulted in the placement of exchange student participants with more than one host family or school placement; and (3) Provide a report of all final academic year and semester program participant placements by August 31 for the upcoming academic year or January 15 for the Spring semester and calendar year. The report must provide at a minimum, the exchange visitor student’s full name, Form DS–2019 number (SEVIS ID #), host family placement (current U.S. address), school (site of activity) address, and name of local coordinator. 3. A new Appendix F is added to Part 62, as follows: Appendix F to Part 62—Information To Be Collected on Secondary School Student Host Family Applications Information To Be Collected on Secondary School Student Host Family Applications Basic Family Information: a. Host Family Member—Full name & relationship (stays overnight) b. DOB c. Address d. Employment—employer name, job title, and point of contact for each working resident of the home e. Is the residence part of a functioning business? (ex: daycare, farm) f. Does any resident of the home have physical or mental disabilities? Y/N If yes, describe each disability: Household Pets: a. Type of Pets b. Number of Pets Financial Resources: a. Average Annual Income Range: Less than $25,000; $25,000–$50,000; $50,000– $75,000; $75,000 and above b. Describe if anyone residing in the home receives any kind of public assistance (financial needs-based government subsidies for food or housing)? c. Personal expenses expected to be covered by the student Diet: a. Does anyone in the family follow any dietary restrictions? (Y/N) If yes, describe: b. Do you expect the student to follow any dietary restrictions? (Y/N) If yes, describe: c. Would you feel comfortable hosting a student who follows a particular dietary restriction (ex. Vegetarian, Vegan, etc.)? (Y/N) Religious Affiliation: a. What is your family’s religious affiliation/denomination/congregation? b. How often do you attend religious services? c. Do you expect the EV to attend religious services with your family*? (Y/N) PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4700 68207 *Students cannot be required to attend religious services. However, as part of the exchange, they are encouraged to experience this facet of U.S. culture at their discretion. d. Would you feel comfortable hosting a student who attended services other than your own or did not attend religious services? High School Information: a. Name and address of school (private or public school): b. Approximate size of the school student body: c. Approximate distance of school from your home: d. Approximate start date of the school year: e. How will the exchange student get to the school? f. Would special transportation be necessary for extracurricular activities after school or in the evenings? If yes, how could this be arranged? g. Which of your family’s children, if any, presently attend this school? If applicable, list sports/clubs/activities, if any, your child(ren) participate(s) in at the school: i. Does any member of your household work for the high school in a coaching/ teaching/or administrative capacity? j. Has any member of your household had contact with a coach regarding the hosting of an exchange student with particular athletic ability? If yes, please describe the contact and sport: Community Information: a. In what type of community do you live (ex: Urban, Suburban, Rural, Farm, etc.) b. Population of community: c. Nearest Major City (Distance and population): d. Nearest Airport (Distance) e. City or town Web site: f. Briefly describe your neighborhood and community: g. What points of interest are near your area (parks, museums, historical sites)? Home Description: a. Describe your type of home (ex: Single family home, Condominium, Duplex, Apartment, Mobile home) b. Describe Primary Rooms and Bedrooms: c. Number of Bathrooms d. Will the exchange student share their room? (Y/N) If yes, with which household resident? e. Describe the room where the exchange student will stay: f. Describe amenities that student has access to g. Utilities Family Activities: a. Language spoken in Home b. What type of weather should the student expect for each season? c. Please describe activities and/or sports each family members participate in: (ex: Camping, Hiking, Dance, Crafts, Debate, Drama, Art, Music, Reading, Soccer, Baseball, Horseback riding, etc.) d. Describe your expectations regarding the responsibilities and behavior of the student while in your home (ex: Homework, Household chores, Curfew E:\FR\FM\23DEP1.SGM 23DEP1 68208 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 245 / Wednesday, December 23, 2009 / Proposed Rules (school night and weekend), Drinking of alcoholic beverages, Driving, Smoking, Computer/Internet/E-Mail) References: Dated: December 16, 2009. Stanley S. Colvin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchanges, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. through 3, the language ‘‘Example 3. Automated clearinghouse network. A operates an automated clearinghouse (‘‘ACH’’) network that merely’’ is corrected to read ‘‘Example 3. Automated clearing house network. A operates an automated clearing house (‘‘ACH’’) network that merely’’. [FR Doc. E9–30274 Filed 12–22–09; 8:45 am] § 31.3406–0 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Parts 1 and 31 § 31.3406(b)(3)–5 [REG–139255–08] Information Reporting for Payments Made in Settlement of Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions; Correction AGENCY: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. ACTION: Correction to a notice of proposed rulemaking. SUMMARY: This document contains corrections to a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG–139255–08) that were published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 (74 FR 61294) relating to information reporting requirements, information reporting penalties, and backup withholding requirements for payment card and third party network transactions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Pettoni, (202) 622–4910 (not a toll-free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background A notice of proposed rulemaking (REG–139255–08) that is the subject of this document is under sections 3406, 6041, 6050W, and 6051 of the Internal Revenue Code. cprice-sewell on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Need for Correction As published, a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG–139255–08) contains errors that may prove to be misleading and are in need of clarification. Correction of Publication Accordingly, the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG– 139255–08), which was the subject of FR Doc. E9–28076, is corrected as follows: [Corrected] 1. On page 61302, column 3, paragraph (e) Example 3., lines 1 VerDate Nov<24>2008 19:31 Dec 22, 2009 [Corrected] 3. On page 61304, column 2, at the bottom of the column, paragraph (c) ‘‘Effective/applicability date.’’ is added. RIN 1545–BI51 § 1.6050W–1 [Corrected] 2. On page 61304, column 2, in the instructional paragraphs, first entry of Paragraph 5, the language ‘‘1. Entries for § 31.3406(b)(3)–5(a) and (b) are added.’’ is corrected to read ‘‘1. Entries for § 31.3406(b)(3)–5(a), (b) and (c) are added.’’. BILLING CODE 4710–05–P Jkt 220001 LaNita Van Dyke, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration). [FR Doc. E9–30551 Filed 12–22–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Parts 104, 105, 160 [USCG–2004–19963] RIN 1625–AA93 Notification of Arrival in U.S. Ports; Certain Dangerous Cargoes Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: On December 16, 2005, the Coast Guard published an interim rule that defined ‘‘certain dangerous cargo residue’’ (CDC residue). After reviewing comments on the interim rule, the Coast Guard proposes to change that definition to include certain bulk liquids and liquefied gases in residue quantities. Based on changes to the CDC residue definition, the Coast Guard also proposes to revise the definition of ‘‘certain dangerous cargo.’’ Additionally, the Coast Guard intends to adopt changes made to 33 CFR part 104 and 105 by the 2005 interim rule. DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before February 22, 2010 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date. Comments sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 collection of information must reach OMB on or before February 22, 2010. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2004–19963 using any one of the following methods: (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. (2) Fax: 202–493–2251. (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001. (4) Delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202– 366–9329. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these methods. For instructions on submitting comments, see the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Collection of Information Comments: If you have comments on the collection of information discussed in section VI.D. of this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), you must also send comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget. To ensure that your comments to OIRA are received on time, the preferred methods are by email to oira_submission@omb.eop.gov (include the docket number and ‘‘Attention: Desk Officer for Coast Guard, DHS’’ in the subject line of the e-mail) or fax at 202–395–6566. An alternate, though slower, method is by U.S. mail to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, ATTN: Desk Officer, U.S. Coast Guard. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed rule, call Lieutenant Sharmine Jones, Office of Vessel Activities, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, telephone 202– 372–1234. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents for Preamble I. Public Participation and Request for Comments A. Submitting Comments B. Viewing Comments and Documents C. Privacy Act D. Public Meeting II. Abbreviations E:\FR\FM\23DEP1.SGM 23DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 245 (Wednesday, December 23, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 68200-68208]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-30274]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 62

[Public Notice: 6853]
RIN 1400-AC56


Exchange Visitor Program--Secondary School Students

AGENCY: Department of State.

ACTION: Proposed rule with request for comment.

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SUMMARY: The Department of State is proposing to amend and improve the 
Exchange Visitor Program regulations by providing greater specificity 
and clarity to sponsors of the Secondary School Student category with 
respect to the execution of sponsor oversight responsibilities under 
the exchange visitor programs. This section of the regulations governs 
Department

[[Page 68201]]

designated exchange visitor programs under which foreign secondary 
school students (ages 15-18\1/2\) are afforded the opportunity to study 
in the United States at an accredited public or private secondary 
school for an academic semester or an academic year while living with 
an American host family or residing at an accredited U.S. boarding 
school. Specifically, the Department is proposing to amend existing 
regulations regarding the screening, selection, school enrollment, 
orientation, and monitoring of overall quality assurance on behalf of 
student participants; and the screening, selection, orientation, and 
quality assurance monitoring of host families. This program is 
recognized as one of the Department's most valued exchange initiatives. 
The Department believes, however, that the lack of sufficient 
specificity in the regulations or lack of suitable, minimum industry 
standards may have contributed to the placement of students with 
unacceptable, or poorly screened, host families thereby putting at risk 
the health, safety and well-being of this most vulnerable group of 
exchange visitors. The Department also recognizes that local 
coordinators, who serve as representatives (employees or volunteers) of 
the Secondary School Student sponsors and who have responsibility for 
obtaining school enrollment and locating and recruiting host families, 
are the critical link to a successful exchange program. Local 
coordinators exercise a degree of independent judgment when determining 
whether a potential host family is capable of providing a comfortable 
and nurturing home environment for a Secondary School Student, whether 
that family is an appropriate match for the student, and whether they 
have adequate financial resources to undertake hosting obligations. 
Accordingly, the Department proposes the adoption of an annual testing 
and certification program for all local and regional coordinators that 
will entail, inter alia, specifying more clearly the Department's 
regulatory requirements as well as all sponsoring organization specific 
training required by the organization for whom the local and regional 
coordinators work.

DATES: The Department will accept comments from the public up to 
February 22, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by any of the following 
methods:
     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.
     Mail (paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions): U.S. Department 
of State, Office of Designation, SA-5, Floor 5, 2200 C Street, NW., 
Washington, DC 20522-0505.
     E-mail: JExchanges@state.gov. You must include the title 
and RIN in the subject line of your message.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stanley S. Colvin, Deputy Assistant 
Secretary for Private Sector Exchanges, U.S. Department of State, SA-5, 
Floor 5, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522-0505; or e-mail at 
jexchanges@state.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department has authorized Secondary 
School Student programs since 1949, following passage of the United 
States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 and adoption of 
22 CFR Part 68--Exchange Visitor Program, establishing a student 
exchange program (14 FR 4592, July 22, 1949). Over the last 60 years, 
more than 850,000 foreign exchange students have lived in and learned 
about America through these Secondary School Student programs.
    In 1993, the United States Information Agency, the predecessor 
agency with oversight of the Exchange Visitor Program, substantially 
rewrote the regulations governing the Exchange Visitor Program, 
including the Secondary School Student category. (See 58 FR 15196, Mar. 
19, 1993, as amended at 59 FR 34761, July 7, 1994, redesignated at 64 
FR 54539, Oct. 7, 1999.) Since this time, significant changes in makeup 
of the American family and widespread access to new technologies have 
necessitated additional updates to the regulations governing the 
Secondary School Student Exchange Visitor Program category. In 2006, 
the Department adopted new regulations set forth at 22 CFR 62.25 to 
require Secondary School Student program sponsors to complete criminal 
background checks on all officers, employees, agents, representatives 
and volunteers acting on their behalf who have direct contact with 
exchange students and to require program sponsors to contact host 
families and students monthly. Additionally adopted were the 
requirements that all adult members of a host family household (age 18 
or older) undergo a criminal background check prior to the placement of 
an exchange student in the home, and that sponsors must report any 
allegation of sexual misconduct to both the Department and local law 
enforcement authorities as required in that jurisdiction (see http://www.childwelfare.gov for a list by state of child abuse and neglect 
statutes). (71 FR 16696, April 4, 2006.)
    Educational and cultural exchanges are the cornerstone of U.S. 
public diplomacy and an integral component of American foreign policy. 
Secondary School Student exchange programs promote mutual understanding 
by providing foreign students the opportunity to study in American high 
schools while living with an American host family. Not only are the 
students themselves transformed by these experiences, but so too are 
their families, friends, and teachers in their home countries. By 
studying and participating in daily student life in the United States, 
Secondary School Student participants gain an understanding of and an 
appreciation for the similarities and differences between their culture 
and that of the United States. These students enrich their schools and 
communities with different perspectives of other cultures and events, 
providing the local community with new and diverse perspectives. 
Secondary School Student exchanges also foster enduring relationships 
and lifelong friendships which help build longstanding ties between the 
people of the United States and other countries. American Secondary 
School Students are provided opportunities to increase their knowledge 
and understanding of the world through these friendships. Participating 
schools gain from the experience of having international students in 
the classroom, at after-school activities, and in their community.
    The great majority of exchange students who come to the United 
States to attend high school become more accepting of the democratic 
values of American society and its cultural differences, grow in 
independence and maturity, improve their English language skills, and 
overall enjoy a positive life-changing experience. As with other 
Exchange Visitor Program categories, the underlying purpose of the 
Secondary School Student Program is to further U.S. diplomatic and 
foreign policy goals by encouraging this positive academic and social 
interaction. Experience has shown that these students will share the 
knowledge and goodwill derived from their exchanges with their fellow 
citizens upon return to their home countries.
    While most of the Department's nearly 30,000 annual exchanges of 
secondary school students conclude with positive experiences for both 
the exchange student and the American

[[Page 68202]]

host family, a number of incidents have occurred recently with respect 
to student placement and oversight which demand the Department's 
immediate attention. The success of the Secondary School Student 
program is dependent on the generosity of the American families who 
support this program by welcoming foreign students into their homes. 
The Department believes, however, that the current status of the U.S. 
economy has made it more difficult to find sufficient numbers of 
suitable host families. The number of qualified foreign students 
desiring to come to the United States for a year of high school 
continues to rise and student demand is now placing pressure on the 
ability of sponsors to identify available and appropriate host family 
homes. The Department desires to provide the means to permit as many 
exchange students into the United States as possible so long as we can 
ensure their safety and well-being, which is our highest priority.
    Recent incidents of placement of exchange students with unsuitable 
host families have brought the Department, Congress, the American 
public, and members of the exchange community together in an initiative 
to upgrade this program to ensure a safe and positive exchange 
experience for every foreign student invited to participate in this 
exchange program. To achieve this goal, the Department has engaged in a 
series of actions and outreach to focus the Secondary School Student 
exchange industry on best practices and continued improvement in 
selection and monitoring of host families and students.
    Prior to the development of this proposed rule, the Department 
published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in the 
Federal Register to solicit comments from sponsors and from the general 
public on current best practices in the industry. (See 74 FR 45385, 
September 2, 2009.) The Notice focused on six areas: (1) The 
utilization of a standard application form for all host family 
applications; (2) the requirement for photographs of all host family 
homes (to include bedrooms, living areas, kitchen, outside of house and 
grounds) as part of the host family application process; (3) whether 
the host family application references should include references from 
family members or local coordinators, and whether one reference should 
be from the school in which the student is enrolled; (4) whether 
fingerprint-based criminal background checks should be required of all 
adult host family members and sponsor officers, employees, 
representatives, agents and volunteers who come, or may come, into 
direct contact with the students, and whether guidelines regarding the 
interpretation of criminal background checks are needed; (5) the 
establishment of baseline financial resources for potential host 
families, and (6) the establishment of limitations on the composition 
of potential host families.
    In light of the 97 comments received in response to the ANPRM, the 
Department has identified six areas that we believe will enhance the 
safety and well-being of foreign secondary school students studying in 
the United States. To effectively implement these changes, additional 
regulations are necessary. The following is an explanation of the 
proposed regulatory changes:

1. Standard Host Family Application Form

    The Department recognizes that many sponsors have invested 
significantly in technology to develop proprietary host family 
applications and application processing systems. The application 
formats used by sponsors vary but most contain uniform information 
required by the Department. Accordingly, the Department believes that 
standard information required for all host family applications, but 
processed in different formats, is preferable to a standard application 
form required for all potential host families. The required information 
fields can be found at Appendix F--``Information to be collected on 
Secondary School Student Host Family Applications''--of this 
rulemaking.

2. Requiring Photographs of the Host Family Home

    The Department finds that photographing potential host family homes 
is already standard practice with more than half of existing secondary 
student exchange sponsors. Many of the sponsors who commented on the 
recent Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking indicated that they find 
providing photographs to be a reasonable requirement and an industry 
``best practice'' to prevent secondary school students from being 
placed in unhealthy environments. The Department concurs and considers 
this a ``best practice'' and proposes that all sponsors photograph the 
exterior, kitchen, student's bedroom, bathroom, and family or living 
room of the potential host family's home.

3. Personal Character References for Host Family Applicants

    The Department has determined that personal character references 
should not include references from host family relatives or a sponsor 
representative (field staff or volunteers). The Department has also 
determined that obtaining a character reference from the school was not 
attainable and would be subject to privacy laws.

4. Measuring Host Family Financial Resources

    The Department has determined that regional differences in incomes 
and standards of living prevent adoption of a requirement that 
potential host families have a minimum household income. As such, a 
requirement would not fairly or accurately reflect cost of living 
differences for families in urban, suburban, exurban and rural areas, 
or determine the adequacy of the care the student will receive. 
However, the Department does not deem appropriate the placement of 
Secondary School Student exchange participants with host families 
receiving financial needs-based government subsidies for food or 
housing. Such families, by definition, lack sufficient financial 
resources to meet fully the financial obligations associated with 
hosting an exchange student.
    To assist sponsors in their required assessment of the host 
family's ability to undertake hosting obligations, the Department finds 
it appropriate and necessary for Secondary School Student exchange 
sponsors to obtain an objective measurement to determine the financial 
capability of potential families to host an exchange student. The 
Department believes this objective measurement can be achieved through 
collecting certain information on the host family application form. 
Accordingly, the Department proposes that sponsors query potential host 
families regarding household income and include a box on the host 
family application form denoting annual household income level (less 
than $25,000, $25-$50,000, $50,000-$75,000, $75,000 and above). 
Collection of this information will also provide the Department the 
option to refine its understanding of the demographic profile of host 
families. In evaluating host family resources, sponsors need to be 
mindful of the host family's obligation to provide three quality meals 
per day and ensure transportation to and from school and school 
activities.

5. Criminal Background Checks

    The Department has conducted significant analysis of this issue and 
recognizes that no single criminal background check, or combination of 
background checks, will guarantee that a potential host family member 
has no

[[Page 68203]]

record of any encounters with the U.S. criminal justice system. As the 
U.S. Attorney General opined in the June 2006 ``Attorney General's 
Report on Criminal History Background Checks'':

    No single source exists that provides complete and up-to-date 
information about a person's criminal history. The FBI-maintained 
criminal history database, however, is one of the better sources 
because it is based on positive identification and can provide, at a 
minimum, nationwide leads to more complete information. If provided 
such access, however, users may not want to rely exclusively on an 
FBI and state repository check and may also want to check other 
record sources, such as commercial databases and local courthouses 
to obtain more complete and up-to-date information in support of 
criminal history background screening.

http://www.justice.gov/olp/ag_bgchecks_report.pdf
As detailed in the Attorney General's Report, criminal background 
checks are primarily performed at the county, state and federal (FBI) 
levels and through private commercial vendors who operate as consumer 
reporting agencies. Each of these background checks provide certain 
information that the others do not; yet, collectively and individually, 
these records can be incomplete. Most crimes occur at the county level, 
and many, not all, county records are shared with state law enforcement 
and criminal repository agencies who in turn share some, not all, of 
these records with the FBI. In turn, the FBI maintains a database that 
includes all federal crimes in addition to an estimated 70-90% of state 
crimes. States simply do not report all required crimes to the FBI and 
many offenses such as DUIs are not required to be reported at all. 
State criminal history repositories also may not have records of 
offenses that have not been forwarded to them by local law enforcement 
agencies.
    A number of problems exist with conducting only a basic name and 
social security number background check through a private vendor, which 
include a lack of uniformity and comprehensiveness of records. 
Typically, private vendors purchase or gain access to criminal history 
information in bulk from county courthouses, state correctional 
facilities, and state criminal history repositories, creating databases 
searchable by an individual's name and social security number. Private 
vendor databases are acknowledged to be incomplete. The scope of 
criminal history information available to private vendors varies 
greatly by state and county as several states and counties restrict 
access to certain records or do not share or sell criminal history 
information to private vendors. It is important to note that FBI 
records are not made available to private vendor databases. Further, 
state and county repositories that sell or share information do not 
always provide private vendors with timely updates of new or revised 
records, resulting in outdated records in many private vendor 
databases.
    The Department finds that there is no standard across the industry 
and individual private vendors maintain their own diverse combinations 
of contracts with a variety of county and state criminal history 
repositories. A basic name and social security check by a private 
vender can also yield a false positive result (an individual's name or 
social security number is mistaken for that of another individual) or a 
false negative result (an individual's criminal record is missed 
because that individual provided a false name or false social security 
number). An accurate and updated private vendor check will, however, 
reveal residential information, as well as court, corrections, and sex 
offender record information. Due to the lack of uniformity of private 
vendor databases and potential for incomplete or inaccurate records, 
the Department finds significant potential for incomplete or inaccurate 
private vendor criminal background checks. Further complicating 
utilization of basic private vendor-conducted criminal background 
checks is the confusion arising from the cost associated with various 
searches. Although the non-governmental organization community is given 
a preferred rate for a basic name and social security number search, 
other search levels are available for additional fee (e.g. direct 
county and state criminal record searches). As noted above, regardless 
of cost, these private vendor searches suffer from the lack of complete 
data availability.
    An examination of the respective sources for criminal background 
checks follows:
    County Repository Search--Most crimes are prosecuted at the county 
level so most criminal records are found in county repositories. 
However, in a highly mobile society, it is very easy for someone to 
live in one county and commit a crime in another. In such a case, the 
crime would appear only in the county in which the crime was committed 
and a simple county of residence search would yield no record.
    State Repository Search--State records are considered the most 
complete source of criminal background records, yet suffer from the 
same limitations as the county search (a person could reside in one 
state and commit a crime in another). States also vary substantially in 
how well they maintain and update their criminal history repositories. 
Thus, a state search alone is inadequate.
    Private Vendor Search--Private vendor checks of an individual's 
name and Social Security Number can yield misdemeanors and crimes that 
might not show up at the state or even county level due to inaccurate/
insufficient reporting. A private vendor search also yields certain 
financial information not caught in the county, state or FBI searches.
    FBI Fingerprint-based Check--An FBI fingerprint-based search 
ensures correct identification of an individual and compares that 
individual's record against the records of the 50 states and 
territories of the United States to locate crimes committed outside the 
state of residence or during residence in another state.
    In addition to the criminal background checks by private vendors 
currently required of program sponsors, the Department recognizes the 
necessity of the FBI fingerprint-based criminal background check, which 
unlike a commercial name and Social Security background check, 
guarantees that the individual has accurately identified him/herself. 
Though states should report arrests to the FBI, many do not fully do 
so, leaving open the possibility of an arrest or criminal record not 
appearing in an FBI fingerprint-based criminal background check. 
However, many misdemeanors and DUI arrests are captured through private 
vendor Social Security Number and name checks. Thus the Department 
finds that the safety and well-being of Secondary School Student 
participants would be best served by requiring the FBI fingerprint-
based search supplemented by a private vendor search, and a National 
Sex Offender Registry check.
    The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 
109-248) requires FBI fingerprint-based checks for all prospective 
foster care or adoptive parents. Given the closely related nature of 
the placement of a foreign exchange student aged 15-18 with American 
host parents to that of a foster care placement or adoption (e.g., 
long-term residence of a child with a new ``host'' family) the 
Department proposes to mirror existing adoptive/foster care criminal 
background check laws. In light of the Adam Walsh Act, the above cited 
Attorney General's Report, and the direct correlation of a foster 
parent to an Exchange Visitor Program host parent, we propose to seek 
the FBI's commitment to conduct

[[Page 68204]]

fingerprint-based criminal background checks on host family members. 
The Department also determined that the best combination of background 
checks should include:
    (1) An FBI fingerprint-based criminal background check;
    (2) A basic private vendor Social Security Number and name check; 
and
    (3) A National Sex Offender Registry check.
    The Department's goal is to require that these checks be conducted 
annually on all potential host family members aged eighteen and older, 
including any family member who will turn eighteen years of age during 
the exchange visitor's stay, as well as on all officers, employees, 
representatives, agents, and volunteers acting on a sponsor's behalf.
    Though there is a significantly higher cost involved with an FBI 
fingerprint-based criminal background check (approximately $70 for many 
state and FBI fingerprint-based searches), than with the currently 
performed private vendor check of Social Security Number and name 
(approximately $4 for many non-profit organizations), the Department 
has determined that the safety of each Secondary School Student invited 
to participate in this program outweighs the additional costs.
    Finally, the Department has been advised that less than 1% of 
criminal background checks of potential host family members contain any 
negative information regarding criminal activity. Accordingly, the 
Department is considering adoption of a standard that will disqualify 
any potential host family applicant for whom a criminal background 
check reveals a negative record other than a parking violation.

6. Host Family Composition

    The Department does not define what constitutes a family; however, 
we take administrative notice that a family is considered to be more 
than one person. To ensure the Secondary School Student program's 
integrity and original intent, no single adults will be allowed to host 
Secondary School Students. Families comprised of one adult with a 
school-aged (K-12) child living full-time in the home and families 
comprised of two adults will be permitted to host Secondary School 
Students.
    Further, this proposed rule includes three proposed changes and 
clarifications to existing regulations that will provide greater 
specificity and oversight improvements to better reflect what the 
Department deems to be current ``best practices.'' These changes 
include:
    (1) Prohibition of payment to host families;
    (2) The requirement that a separate host family orientation be 
conducted after the host family application process has been completed; 
and
    (3) The requirement that the first monthly visit to the exchange 
student must be conducted by an organizational representative other 
than the local coordinator who found the host family and made the 
placement.
    Finally, the Department recognizes that the exercise of good 
judgment by sponsors' local coordinators is the critical link to a 
successful exchange program. The Department proposes the adoption of a 
testing and certification program for all local and regional 
coordinators to be administered by the sponsors and to include a 
detailed explanation of the Department's regulatory requirements in 
addition to individual training by the sponsor organization for whom 
the local coordinator works. This training will include a minimum of 
eight hours of instruction to provide a comprehensive understanding of 
the Exchange Visitor Program, its public diplomacy objectives, and the 
Secondary School Student category rules and regulations. The training 
will also include instructions on conflict resolution; how to handle 
and report emergency situations; sexual conduct codes and appropriate 
responses; the criteria to be used in screening potential host 
families; and the exercise of good judgment in determining the 
suitability of a host family placement. Training is to be conducted by 
a full-time staff member of the sponsor, and may be rendered in 
classroom, one-on-one, or via an online platform. If training is 
conducted online, the sponsor must demonstrate successful completion of 
the course by the local coordinator via on an online test. The 
Department will review all training materials and will require that 
these materials be provided with the sponsor application for 
designation or redesignation. The Department additionally proposes that 
local coordinators be required to undergo annual certification and a 
minimum of three hours of refresher training each year following 
completion of the original training. The refresher course will include 
an overview of the same categories of the eight-hour course as well as 
guidance on any new rules and regulations and current Secondary School 
Student program-wide issues.

Administrative Procedure Act

    While the Department is of the view that the Exchange Visitor 
Program is not governed by Sec.  553 (Rulemaking) or Sec.  554 
(Adjudications) of the Administrative Procedure Act because the 
Exchange Visitor Program involves a foreign affairs function of the 
United States, it is nevertheless publishing this rule as a proposed 
rule, with a 60-day provision for public comments, consistent with the 
requirements of Sec.  553 of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business

    These proposed changes to the regulations are hereby certified as 
not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, and Executive Order 13272, section 
3(b).

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule will not result in the expenditure by State, 
local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private 
sector, of $100 million in any 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.

Executive Order 13175--Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments

    The Department 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 requirements of Section 5 of Executive Order 13175 do 
not apply to this rulemaking.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This proposed rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804 
for the purposes of Congressional review of agency rulemaking under the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 
801-808). 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 
companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and 
export markets.

Executive Order 12866

    The Department of State does not consider this rule to be a 
``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, section 
3(f), Regulatory Planning and Review. In addition, the

[[Page 68205]]

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 
nevertheless reviewed the regulation to ensure its consistency with the 
regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in that Executive Order.

Executive Order 12988

    The Department has reviewed this regulation in light of sections 
3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, 
minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce 
burden.

Executive Orders 12372 and 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, it is determined that this rule does not have 
sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant 
the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The 
regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do 
not apply to this regulation.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    OMB Control Number 1405-0147 (Form DS-7000) applies to this 
information collection. The Department will seek an amendment to that 
collection to accommodate the new information to be requested under 
this rule, consistent with the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 62

    Cultural exchange program.

    Accordingly, 22 CFR Part 62 is proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 62--EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM

    1. The Authority citation for Part 62 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(J), 1182, 1184, 1258; 22 U.S.C. 
1431-1442, 2451 et seq.; Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring 
Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-277, Div. G, 112 Stat. 2681 et seq.; 
Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1977, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp. p. 200; E.O. 
12048 of March 27, 1978; 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 168; the Illegal 
Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 
1996, Pub. L. 104-208, Div. C, 110 Stat. 3009-546, as amended; 
Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools 
Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA 
PATRIOT ACT), Public Law 107-56, Sec. 416, 115 Stat. 354; and the 
Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, Public 
Law 107-173, 116 Stat. 543.

    2. Section 62.25 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  62.25  Secondary school students.

    (a) Introduction. This section governs Department of State 
designated exchange visitor programs under which foreign national 
secondary school students are afforded the opportunity for up to one 
year of study in a United States accredited public or private secondary 
school, while living with an American host family or residing at an 
accredited U.S. boarding school.
    (b) Program sponsor eligibility. Eligibility for designation as a 
secondary school student exchange visitor program sponsor is limited to 
organizations:
    (1) With tax-exempt status as conferred by the Internal Revenue 
Service pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; and
    (2) Which are United States citizens as such term is defined in 
Sec.  62.2.
    (c) Program eligibility. Secondary school student exchange visitor 
programs designated by the Department of State must:
    (1) Require all participants to be enrolled and participating in a 
full course of study at an accredited educational institution;
    (2) Allow entry of participants for not less than one academic 
semester (or quarter equivalency) nor more than two academic semesters 
(or quarter equivalency) duration; and
    (3) Be conducted on a U.S. academic calendar year basis, except for 
students from countries whose academic year is opposite that of the 
United States. Exchange students may begin in the second semester of a 
U.S. academic year if specifically permitted to do so, in writing, by 
the school in which the exchange visitor is enrolled. Both the host 
family and school must be notified prior to the exchange student's 
arrival in the United States that the placement is for either an 
academic semester or year, or calendar year program.
    (d) Program administration. Sponsors must ensure that all officers, 
employees, representatives, agents, and volunteers acting on their 
behalf:
    (1) Are adequately trained and supervised, including completion of 
an eight hour Department-approved training course that provides a 
comprehensive understanding of the Exchange Visitor Program; its public 
diplomacy objectives; the Secondary School Student category rules and 
regulations; sexual conduct codes; the screening of potential host 
families and the exercising of good judgment to determine what 
constitutes a suitable host family placement. Training will be 
conducted by a full-time staff member of the sponsor, and may be 
rendered in classroom, one-on-one, or via an online platform. Sponsors 
must demonstrate successful completion of the course by the local and 
regional coordinators. All sponsor training materials must be submitted 
to the Department for its review as part of the sponsor application for 
designation or redesignation. A three hour refresher training course is 
required for all local and regional coordinators each year following 
completion of the eight hour training course. The refresher course will 
include an overview of the same categories of the eight hour course as 
well as guidance on any new rules and regulations and current Secondary 
School Student program-wide issues.
    (2) Have been vetted annually through an FBI fingerprint-based 
criminal background check, a private vendor-conducted basic name and 
social security number check, and a check of the National Sex Offender 
Registry.
    (3) Make no student placement beyond 120 miles of the home of a 
local organizational representative authorized to act on the sponsor's 
behalf in both routine and emergency matters arising from an exchange 
student's participation in the exchange visitor program;
    (4) Ensure that the host family undergoes a separate orientation to 
be conducted at a date after the host family application process 
concludes;
    (5) Ensure that no organizational representative act as both host 
family and a local coordinator or area supervisor for any single 
exchange student participant;
    (6) Maintain, at minimum, a monthly schedule of personal contact 
with the student and with the host family, including one in-person and 
in-private visit with the student, and ensure that the school has 
contact information (including the name, direct phone number, and 
email) for the local organizational representative and the program 
sponsor;
    (7) Ensure that the first monthly visit to the Secondary School 
Student must be conducted by a sponsor representative other than the 
local coordinator who found the host family and made the placement; and
    (8) Adhere to all regulatory provisions set forth in this Part and 
all additional terms and conditions governing program

[[Page 68206]]

administration that the Department may from time to time impose.
    (e) Student selection. In addition to satisfying the requirements 
of Sec.  62.10(a), sponsors must ensure that all participants in a 
designated secondary school student exchange visitor program:
    (1) Are secondary school students in their home country who have 
not completed more than eleven years of primary and secondary study, 
exclusive of kindergarten; or are at least 15 years of age but not more 
than 18 years and six months of age as of the program start date;
    (2) Demonstrate maturity, good character, and scholastic aptitude; 
and
    (3) Have not previously participated in an academic year or 
semester secondary school student exchange program in the United States 
or attended school in the United States in either F-1 or J-1 visa 
status.
    (f) Student enrollment. (1) Sponsors must secure prior written 
acceptance for the enrollment of any exchange student participant in a 
United States public or private secondary school. Such prior acceptance 
must:
    (i) Be secured from the school principal or other authorized school 
administrator of the school or school system that the exchange student 
participant will attend; and
    (ii) Include written arrangements concerning the payment of tuition 
or waiver thereof if applicable.
    (2) Under no circumstance may a sponsor facilitate the entry into 
the United States of an exchange student for whom a written school 
placement has not been secured.
    (3) Sponsors must maintain copies of all written acceptances and 
make such documents available for Department of State inspection upon 
request.
    (4) Sponsors must provide the school with a translated ``written 
English language summary'' of the exchange student's complete academic 
course work prior to commencement of school, in addition to any 
additional documents the school may require. Sponsors must inform the 
prospective host school of any student who has completed secondary 
school in his/her home country.
    (5) Sponsors may not facilitate the enrollment of more than five 
exchange students in one school unless the school itself has requested, 
in writing, the placement of more than five students.
    (6) Upon issuance of Form DS-2019 to a prospective participant, the 
sponsor accepts full responsibility for placing the student, except in 
cases of voluntary student withdrawal or visa denial.
    (g) Student orientation. In addition to the orientation 
requirements set forth at Sec.  62.10, all sponsors must provide 
exchange students, prior to their departure from the home country, with 
the following information:
    (1) A summary of all operating procedures, rules, and regulations 
governing student participation in the exchange visitor program along 
with a detailed summary of travel arrangements;
    (2) A copy of the Department's letter to exchange students;
    (3) Age and language appropriate information on how to identify and 
report sexual abuse or exploitation;
    (4) A detailed profile of the host family in which the exchange 
student is placed. The profile must state whether the host family is 
either a permanent placement or a temporary-arrival family;
    (5) A detailed profile of the school and community in which the 
exchange student is placed; and
    (6) An identification card, which lists the exchange student's 
name, United States host family placement address and telephone 
numbers, and sponsor name and main office contact numbers, the name and 
direct (as well as cellular) telephone number of the local coordinator 
and area representative and the Department of State office number and 
Secondary Student toll free number. The identification card must also 
contain the name of the health insurance provider and policy number. 
Such cards may be provided in advance of home country departure or 
immediately upon entry into the United States.
    (h) Student extra-curricular activities. Exchange students may 
participate in school sanctioned and sponsored extra-curricular 
activities, including athletics, if such participation is:
    (1) Authorized by the local school district in which the student is 
enrolled; and
    (2) Authorized by the State authority responsible for determination 
of athletic eligibility, if applicable.
    (i) Student employment. Exchange students may not be employed on 
either a full or part-time basis but may accept sporadic or 
intermittent employment such as babysitting or yard work.
    (j) Host family selection. Sponsors must adequately screen and 
select all potential host families and at a minimum must:
    (1) Provide potential host families with a detailed summary of the 
exchange visitor program and the parameters of their participation, 
duties, and obligations;
    (2) Utilize a standard application form that must be signed and 
dated by all potential host family applicants which provides a detailed 
summary and profile of the host family, the physical home environment 
(to include photographs of the host family home's exterior and grounds, 
kitchen, student's bedroom, student's bathroom, and family and living 
areas), family composition and community environment. Exchange students 
are not permitted to reside with relatives of the host family.
    (3) Conduct an in-person, individual-by-individual interview with 
all family members residing in the home;
    (4) Ensure that the host family is capable of providing a 
comfortable and nurturing home environment and that the student's 
bedroom contains a separate bed for the student, not convertible or 
inflatable in nature, adequate storage space for the student's clothes 
and personal belongings, reasonable access to bathroom facilities, 
study space if not otherwise available in the house and reasonable, 
unimpeded access to the outside of the house in the event of a fire or 
similar emergency.
    (5) Ensure that the host family has a good reputation and character 
by securing two personal references from within the community for each 
host family, which may not be obtained from relatives or 
representatives of the sponsor (i.e. field staff or volunteers), 
attesting to the host family's good reputation and character;
    (6) Ensure that the host family has adequate financial resources to 
undertake hosting obligations and are not receiving needs-based 
government subsidies for food or housing;
    (7) Verify that each member of the host family household eighteen 
years of age and older, or each member of the host family household who 
will turn eighteen years of age during the exchange student's stay in 
that household, has undergone an FBI fingerprint-based criminal 
background check, a private vendor-conducted basic name and social 
security number check, and a check of the National Sex Offender 
Registry; and
    (8) Maintain a record of all documentation, including but not 
limited to application forms, background checks, evaluations, and 
interviews, for all selected host families for a period of three years 
following completion of the student's exchange program.
    (9) Ensure that potential single adult host parents have at least 
one school-aged child living full-time in the host family home.
    (k) Host family orientation. In addition to the orientation 
requirements set forth in Sec.  62.10, sponsors must:

[[Page 68207]]

    (1) Inform all host families of the philosophy, rules, and 
regulations governing the sponsor's exchange visitor program, including 
examples of ``worst practices'' in the exchange experience;
    (2) Provide all selected host families with a copy of Department of 
State-promulgated Exchange Visitor Program regulations and a copy of 
the Department of State letter to exchange student host families; and
    (3) Advise all selected host families of strategies for cross-
cultural interaction and conduct workshops which will familiarize the 
host family with cultural differences and practices.
    (l) Host family placement. (1) Sponsors must secure, prior to the 
student's departure from his or her home country, a permanent or 
arrival host family placement for each exchange student participant. 
Sponsors may not:
    (i) Facilitate the entry into the United States for an exchange 
student for whom a host family placement has not been secured;
    (ii) Place more than one exchange student with a host family 
without the express prior written consent of the Department of State. 
Under no circumstance may more than two exchange students be placed 
with one host family.
    (2) Sponsors must advise both the exchange student and host family, 
in writing, of the respective family compositions and backgrounds of 
each, whether the host family placement is a permanent or temporary 
placement, and facilitate and encourage the exchange of correspondence 
between the two prior to the student's departure from the home country.
    (3) In the event of unforeseen circumstances which necessitate a 
change of host family placement, the sponsor must document the 
reason(s) necessitating such change and provide the Department of State 
with an annual statistical summary reflecting the number and reason(s) 
for such change in host family placement in the program's annual 
report.
    (m) Reporting requirements. Along with the annual report required 
by regulations set forth at Sec.  62.15, sponsors must file with the 
Department of State the following information:
    (1) Sponsors must immediately report to the Department any incident 
or allegation involving the actual or alleged sexual exploitation or 
abuse of an exchange student participant. Sponsors must also report 
such allegations as required by local or state statute or regulation. 
Failure to report such incidents to the Department and, as required by 
state law or regulation, to local law enforcement authorities shall be 
grounds for the summary suspension and termination of the sponsor's 
Exchange Visitor Program designation.
    (2) A summation of all situations which resulted in the placement 
of exchange student participants with more than one host family or 
school placement; and
    (3) Provide a report of all final academic year and semester 
program participant placements by August 31 for the upcoming academic 
year or January 15 for the Spring semester and calendar year. The 
report must provide at a minimum, the exchange visitor student's full 
name, Form DS-2019 number (SEVIS ID ), host family placement 
(current U.S. address), school (site of activity) address, and name of 
local coordinator.
    3. A new Appendix F is added to Part 62, as follows:

Appendix F to Part 62--Information To Be Collected on Secondary School 
Student Host Family Applications

Information To Be Collected on Secondary School Student Host Family 
Applications

Basic Family Information:
    a. Host Family Member--Full name & relationship (stays 
overnight)
    b. DOB
    c. Address
    d. Employment--employer name, job title, and point of contact 
for each working resident of the home
    e. Is the residence part of a functioning business? (ex: 
daycare, farm)
    f. Does any resident of the home have physical or mental 
disabilities? Y/N If yes, describe each disability:
Household Pets:
    a. Type of Pets
    b. Number of Pets
Financial Resources:
    a. Average Annual Income Range: Less than $25,000; $25,000-
$50,000; $50,000-$75,000; $75,000 and above
    b. Describe if anyone residing in the home receives any kind of 
public assistance (financial needs-based government subsidies for 
food or housing)?
    c. Personal expenses expected to be covered by the student
Diet:
    a. Does anyone in the family follow any dietary restrictions? 
(Y/N) If yes, describe:
    b. Do you expect the student to follow any dietary restrictions? 
(Y/N) If yes, describe:
    c. Would you feel comfortable hosting a student who follows a 
particular dietary restriction (ex. Vegetarian, Vegan, etc.)? (Y/N)
Religious Affiliation:
    a. What is your family's religious affiliation/denomination/
congregation?
    b. How often do you attend religious services?
    c. Do you expect the EV to attend religious services with your 
family*? (Y/N) *Students cannot be required to attend religious 
services. However, as part of the exchange, they are encouraged to 
experience this facet of U.S. culture at their discretion.
    d. Would you feel comfortable hosting a student who attended 
services other than your own or did not attend religious services?
High School Information:
    a. Name and address of school (private or public school):
    b. Approximate size of the school student body:
    c. Approximate distance of school from your home:
    d. Approximate start date of the school year:
    e. How will the exchange student get to the school?
    f. Would special transportation be necessary for extracurricular 
activities after school or in the evenings? If yes, how could this 
be arranged?
    g. Which of your family's children, if any, presently attend 
this school? If applicable, list sports/clubs/activities, if any, 
your child(ren) participate(s) in at the school:
    i. Does any member of your household work for the high school in 
a coaching/teaching/or administrative capacity?
    j. Has any member of your household had contact with a coach 
regarding the hosting of an exchange student with particular 
athletic ability? If yes, please describe the contact and sport:
Community Information:
    a. In what type of community do you live (ex: Urban, Suburban, 
Rural, Farm, etc.)
    b. Population of community:
    c. Nearest Major City (Distance and population):
    d. Nearest Airport (Distance)
    e. City or town Web site:
    f. Briefly describe your neighborhood and community:
    g. What points of interest are near your area (parks, museums, 
historical sites)?
Home Description:
    a. Describe your type of home (ex: Single family home, 
Condominium, Duplex, Apartment, Mobile home)
    b. Describe Primary Rooms and Bedrooms:
    c. Number of Bathrooms
    d. Will the exchange student share their room? (Y/N) If yes, 
with which household resident?
    e. Describe the room where the exchange student will stay:
    f. Describe amenities that student has access to
    g. Utilities
Family Activities:
    a. Language spoken in Home
    b. What type of weather should the student expect for each 
season?
    c. Please describe activities and/or sports each family members 
participate in: (ex: Camping, Hiking, Dance, Crafts, Debate, Drama, 
Art, Music, Reading, Soccer, Baseball, Horseback riding, etc.)
    d. Describe your expectations regarding the responsibilities and 
behavior of the student while in your home (ex: Homework, Household 
chores, Curfew

[[Page 68208]]

(school night and weekend), Drinking of alcoholic beverages, 
Driving, Smoking, Computer/Internet/E-Mail)
References:

     Dated: December 16, 2009.
Stanley S. Colvin,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchanges, Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

[FR Doc. E9-30274 Filed 12-22-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P