Proposed Elimination of Visa Page Insert Service for U.S. Passport Book Holders, 23754-23755 [2015-09719]

Download as PDF 23754 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 82 / Wednesday, April 29, 2015 / Proposed Rules payments within 10 days after such payments become due, there will be added to such unpaid benefits an amount equal to 20 percent thereof, which must be paid to the claimant at the same time as, but in addition to, such benefits, unless review of the order making such award is sought as provided in section 21 of the LHWCA and an order staying payments has been issued. (b) If, on account of an operator’s or other employer’s failure to pay benefits as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, benefit payments are made by the fund, the eligible claimant will nevertheless be entitled to receive such additional compensation to which he or she may be eligible under paragraph (a), with respect to all amounts paid by the fund on behalf of such operator or other employer. (c) The fund may not be held liable for payments of additional compensation under any circumstances. Signed at Washington, DC, this 20th day of April, 2015. Leonard J. Howie III, Director, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. [FR Doc. 2015–09573 Filed 4–28–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–CR–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Parts 22 and 51 [Public Notice: 9111] RIN 1400–AD76 Proposed Elimination of Visa Page Insert Service for U.S. Passport Book Holders Department of State. Proposed rule. AGENCY: ACTION: Currently, all U.S. passport book applicants may apply for either a 28-page or 52-page passport book at no extra charge. U.S. passport book holders may then apply for additional visa pages while the passport book is still valid. The Department of State proposes eliminating the option to add visa pages in passports beginning January 1, 2016. To help mitigate the need for visa page inserts, the Department began issuing the larger 52-page passport book in October 2014 to all overseas U.S. passport applicants at no extra cost. U.S. passport applicants applying domestically can still obtain the 52-page passport book at no extra charge by requesting it on the application form. The elimination of visa page inserts coincides with the Department’s anticipated rollout of the Next mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 28, 2015 Jkt 235001 Generation Passport in 2016. The Next Generation Passport incorporates new security features designed to protect the integrity of U.S. passport books against fraud and misuse. An interagency working group determined that the addition of visa page inserts could reduce the effectiveness of these new security features. If this change is implemented, the fee for this service will be removed from the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services. DATES: Written comments must be received on or before June 29, 2015. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may submit comments by any of the following methods: • Visit the Regulations.gov Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/ index.cfm and search the RIN 1400– AD76 or docket number DOS–2015– 0017. • Mail (paper, disk, or CD–ROM): U.S. Department of State, Office of Passport Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA/PPT), Attn: CA/PPT/IA, 44132 Mercure Circle, P.O. Box 1227, Sterling, Virginia 20166–1227. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Holly, Office of Passport Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs; 202–485–6373: PassportRules@ state.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The Department proposes eliminating the visa page insert service for regular fee passport book holders beginning January 1, 2016. The expected effective date of this rule coincides with when the Department expects to begin issuing an updated version of the Next Generation Passport book. The Department routinely updates the technology used to produce U.S. passport books so that U.S. passport books use the most current anti-fraud and anti-counterfeit measures. The Next Generation Passport, which is the next update of the U.S. passport book, will contain a polycarbonate data-page and will be personalized with laser engraving. This passport will also employ conical laser perforation of the passport number through the data and visa pages; display a general artwork upgrade and new security features including watermark, security artwork, optical variable security devices, tactile features, and optically variable inks. The primary reason for eliminating visa page inserts is to protect the integrity of the Next Generation Passport books. In 2012, an interagency working group tasked with overseeing the development and deployment of Next Generation Passport books found that PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 visa page inserts could compromise the effectiveness of security features of the new passport books that are intended to provide greater protections against fraud and misuse. To maximize the effectiveness of the Next Generation Passport that is expected to be issued to the general public in 2016, the Department considered whether visa page inserts could be phased out at the time that the Department begins to issue the new passport books. As part of this study, the Department considered the extent of the public’s usage of visa page inserts, costs to the Department of eliminating the service, and whether any inconvenience to the public could be minimized. A study of a sample of visa page insert applications revealed that a significant majority of those applying for visa page inserts had them added to 28-page passport books, rather than to the larger 52-page books. A set of visa page inserts is 24 pages. Accordingly, a 52-page passport book is the same size as a 28-page book with a set of extra visa pages. The Department determined that the demand for additional visa pages would be substantially reduced by issuing only the larger 52-page passport books to overseas U.S. passport applicants. Accordingly, the Department has begun issuing the 52-page book to overseas applicants, who are the most likely to apply for extra visa pages, at no additional cost. This should further reduce the already limited demand for visa page inserts, thus making the rule’s impact on the public very minimal. Individuals who apply for U.S. passports within the United States will continue to have the option to request a 52-page passport at no additional charge. Each version of the Next Generation Passport book contains two fewer pages total, but the same number of visa pages as the passport books currently in circulation. Accordingly, after the Department begins issuing the Next Generation Passport book, all domestic passport book applicants will still have the option to choose between a 26-page passport book and a larger 50-page passport book, but the larger 50-page passport books will be automatically issued to people applying overseas. The Department believes the limited demand for visa page inserts is outweighed by the importance of ensuring that the Next Generation Passport provides the maximum protection against fraud and misuse. Furthermore, the Department must monitor unused inventories of passport products, and the elimination of visa page inserts would facilitate more secure inventory controls. Accordingly, E:\FR\FM\29APP1.SGM 29APP1 23755 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 82 / Wednesday, April 29, 2015 / Proposed Rules the Department proposes eliminating visa page inserts in passport books issued to the general public beginning January 1, 2016, If this change is implemented, the fee for additional visa pages will be removed from the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services of the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (‘‘Schedule of Fees’’ or ‘‘Schedule’’). What is the authority for this action? The Secretary of State is authorized to issue U.S. passports under 22 U.S.C. 211a. The Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, administers the U.S. passport issuance program and manages the consular sections of all U.S. consulates and embassies overseas. The Department of State derives the authority to eliminate visa page inserts from its statutory authority to issue U.S. passports and manage the U.S. passport issuance program. When will the department of state implement this proposed rule? The Department intends to implement this proposed rule on January 1, 2016. Regulatory Findings Administrative Procedure Act The Department is publishing this rule as a proposed rule, with a 60-day provision for public comments. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Regulatory Flexibility Act The Department, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), has reviewed this rule and, by approving it, certifies that the proposed rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined in 5 U.S.C. 601(6). This rule eliminates the extra visa page insert service for U.S. passport book holders. Approximately 170,000 passport book holders applied for visa page inserts during Fiscal Year 2013. Only individuals, and no small entities, apply for visa page inserts. Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995 This rule will not result in the expenditure by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $1 million or more 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, 2 U.S.C. 1501–1504. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Apr 28, 2015 Jkt 235001 Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, since it will not result in an annual impact on the economy of $100 million or more. See 5 U.S.C. 804(2). Executive Order 12866 This rule is not economically significant under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f)(1), because it will not have an annual impact on the economy of $100 million or more. This rule has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review. The Department expects the proposed rule’s impact on the public to be minimal because of the already low demand for visa page inserts and steps taken by the Department to reduce that demand even further. In Fiscal Year 2013, the Department processed only 170,000 requests for additional visa pages. By comparison, the Department issued more than 12 million passports during the same time period, and there are more than 122 million passports in circulation. The Department estimates that 97 percent of renewed U.S. passport books will use less than 18 visa pages, which is a strong indication that current book sizes (28 pages and 52 pages) meet the needs of U.S. travelers. The Department of State does not anticipate that demand for passport services affected by this rule will change significantly because of the elimination of visa page inserts, and welcomes public comment on that expectation. Executive Order 13132 This rule will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 of Executive Order 13132, the Department has determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. Paperwork Reduction Act This rule does not impose or alter any reporting or record-keeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act. List of Subjects in 22 CFR Parts 22 and 51 Consular services, fees, passports and visas. Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the preamble, 22 CFR parts 22 and 51 are proposed to be amended as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 PART 22—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 22 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101 note, 1153 note, 1183a note, 1351, 1351 note, 1714, 1714 note; 10 U.S.C. 2602(c); 11 U.S.C. 1157 note; 22 U.S.C. 214, 214 note, 1475e, 2504(a), 4201, 4206, 4215, 4219, 6551; 31 U.S.C. 9701; Executive Order 10,718,22 FR 4632; Executive Order 11,295,31 FR 10603. 2. Amend the table in § 22.1 to revise item 2c to read as follows: ■ § 22.1 Schedule of Fees for Consular Services. * * * * * Item No. Fee PAssport and Citizenship Services * * * 2. * * * (c) [RESERVED]. * * * * * * * PART 51—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101 note, 1153 note, 1183a note, 1351, 1351 note, 1714,1714 note; 10 U.S.C. 2602 (c); 11 U.S.C. 1157 note; 22 U.S.C. 214, 214 note, 1475e, 2504(a), 4201,4206,4215, 4219,6551; 31 U.S.C. 9701; Executive Order 10,718,22 FR4632; Executive Order 11,295,31 FR 10603. 4. In § 51.20 revise paragraph (a) to read as follows: ■ § 51.20 General. (a) An application for a passport, a replacement passport, or other passport related service must be completed using the forms the Department prescribes. * * * * * ■ 5. In § 51.56, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows: § 51.56 Expedited passport processing. (a) Within the United States, an applicant for a passport service (including issuance or the replacement of a passport) may request expedited processing. The Department may decline to accept the request. * * * * * Dated: April 8, 2015. Michele T. Bond, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Acting. [FR Doc. 2015–09719 Filed 4–28–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–06–P E:\FR\FM\29APP1.SGM 29APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 82 (Wednesday, April 29, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 23754-23755]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-09719]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Parts 22 and 51

[Public Notice: 9111]
RIN 1400-AD76


Proposed Elimination of Visa Page Insert Service for U.S. 
Passport Book Holders

AGENCY: Department of State.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Currently, all U.S. passport book applicants may apply for 
either a 28-page or 52-page passport book at no extra charge. U.S. 
passport book holders may then apply for additional visa pages while 
the passport book is still valid. The Department of State proposes 
eliminating the option to add visa pages in passports beginning January 
1, 2016. To help mitigate the need for visa page inserts, the 
Department began issuing the larger 52-page passport book in October 
2014 to all overseas U.S. passport applicants at no extra cost. U.S. 
passport applicants applying domestically can still obtain the 52-page 
passport book at no extra charge by requesting it on the application 
form. The elimination of visa page inserts coincides with the 
Department's anticipated rollout of the Next Generation Passport in 
2016. The Next Generation Passport incorporates new security features 
designed to protect the integrity of U.S. passport books against fraud 
and misuse. An interagency working group determined that the addition 
of visa page inserts could reduce the effectiveness of these new 
security features. If this change is implemented, the fee for this 
service will be removed from the Schedule of Fees for Consular 
Services.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before June 29, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may submit comments by any of the 
following methods:
     Visit the Regulations.gov Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/index.cfm and search the RIN 1400-AD76 or docket 
number DOS-2015-0017.
     Mail (paper, disk, or CD-ROM): U.S. Department of State, 
Office of Passport Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA/PPT), Attn: 
CA/PPT/IA, 44132 Mercure Circle, P.O. Box 1227, Sterling, Virginia 
20166-1227.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Holly, Office of Passport 
Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs; 202-485-6373: 
PassportRules@state.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Department proposes eliminating the visa page insert service 
for regular fee passport book holders beginning January 1, 2016. The 
expected effective date of this rule coincides with when the Department 
expects to begin issuing an updated version of the Next Generation 
Passport book. The Department routinely updates the technology used to 
produce U.S. passport books so that U.S. passport books use the most 
current anti-fraud and anti-counterfeit measures. The Next Generation 
Passport, which is the next update of the U.S. passport book, will 
contain a polycarbonate data-page and will be personalized with laser 
engraving. This passport will also employ conical laser perforation of 
the passport number through the data and visa pages; display a general 
artwork upgrade and new security features including watermark, security 
artwork, optical variable security devices, tactile features, and 
optically variable inks. The primary reason for eliminating visa page 
inserts is to protect the integrity of the Next Generation Passport 
books.
    In 2012, an interagency working group tasked with overseeing the 
development and deployment of Next Generation Passport books found that 
visa page inserts could compromise the effectiveness of security 
features of the new passport books that are intended to provide greater 
protections against fraud and misuse. To maximize the effectiveness of 
the Next Generation Passport that is expected to be issued to the 
general public in 2016, the Department considered whether visa page 
inserts could be phased out at the time that the Department begins to 
issue the new passport books.
    As part of this study, the Department considered the extent of the 
public's usage of visa page inserts, costs to the Department of 
eliminating the service, and whether any inconvenience to the public 
could be minimized. A study of a sample of visa page insert 
applications revealed that a significant majority of those applying for 
visa page inserts had them added to 28-page passport books, rather than 
to the larger 52-page books. A set of visa page inserts is 24 pages. 
Accordingly, a 52-page passport book is the same size as a 28-page book 
with a set of extra visa pages. The Department determined that the 
demand for additional visa pages would be substantially reduced by 
issuing only the larger 52-page passport books to overseas U.S. 
passport applicants. Accordingly, the Department has begun issuing the 
52-page book to overseas applicants, who are the most likely to apply 
for extra visa pages, at no additional cost. This should further reduce 
the already limited demand for visa page inserts, thus making the 
rule's impact on the public very minimal. Individuals who apply for 
U.S. passports within the United States will continue to have the 
option to request a 52-page passport at no additional charge.
    Each version of the Next Generation Passport book contains two 
fewer pages total, but the same number of visa pages as the passport 
books currently in circulation. Accordingly, after the Department 
begins issuing the Next Generation Passport book, all domestic passport 
book applicants will still have the option to choose between a 26-page 
passport book and a larger 50-page passport book, but the larger 50-
page passport books will be automatically issued to people applying 
overseas.
    The Department believes the limited demand for visa page inserts is 
outweighed by the importance of ensuring that the Next Generation 
Passport provides the maximum protection against fraud and misuse. 
Furthermore, the Department must monitor unused inventories of passport 
products, and the elimination of visa page inserts would facilitate 
more secure inventory controls. Accordingly,

[[Page 23755]]

the Department proposes eliminating visa page inserts in passport books 
issued to the general public beginning January 1, 2016,
    If this change is implemented, the fee for additional visa pages 
will be removed from the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services of the 
Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs (``Schedule of Fees'' 
or ``Schedule'').

What is the authority for this action?

    The Secretary of State is authorized to issue U.S. passports under 
22 U.S.C. 211a. The Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, 
administers the U.S. passport issuance program and manages the consular 
sections of all U.S. consulates and embassies overseas. The Department 
of State derives the authority to eliminate visa page inserts from its 
statutory authority to issue U.S. passports and manage the U.S. 
passport issuance program.

When will the department of state implement this proposed rule?

    The Department intends to implement this proposed rule on January 
1, 2016.

Regulatory Findings

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department is publishing this rule as a proposed rule, with a 
60-day provision for public comments.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 
5 U.S.C. 605(b), has reviewed this rule and, by approving it, certifies 
that the proposed rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined in 
5 U.S.C. 601(6). This rule eliminates the extra visa page insert 
service for U.S. passport book holders. Approximately 170,000 passport 
book holders applied for visa page inserts during Fiscal Year 2013. 
Only individuals, and no small entities, apply for visa page inserts.

Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by state, local, and 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $1 
million or more 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, 2 
U.S.C. 1501-1504.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, since it 
will not result in an annual impact on the economy of $100 million or 
more. See 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Executive Order 12866

    This rule is not economically significant under Executive Order 
12866, section 3(f)(1), because it will not have an annual impact on 
the economy of $100 million or more. This rule has been submitted to 
the Office of Management and Budget for review.
    The Department expects the proposed rule's impact on the public to 
be minimal because of the already low demand for visa page inserts and 
steps taken by the Department to reduce that demand even further. In 
Fiscal Year 2013, the Department processed only 170,000 requests for 
additional visa pages. By comparison, the Department issued more than 
12 million passports during the same time period, and there are more 
than 122 million passports in circulation. The Department estimates 
that 97 percent of renewed U.S. passport books will use less than 18 
visa pages, which is a strong indication that current book sizes (28 
pages and 52 pages) meet the needs of U.S. travelers.
    The Department of State does not anticipate that demand for 
passport services affected by this rule will change significantly 
because of the elimination of visa page inserts, and welcomes public 
comment on that expectation.

Executive Order 13132

    This rule will not have substantial direct effects on the states, 
on the relationship between the national government and the states, or 
on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various 
levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 of 
Executive Order 13132, the Department has determined that this rule 
does not have sufficient federalism implications to require 
consultations or warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact 
statement.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose or alter any reporting or record-keeping 
requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Parts 22 and 51

    Consular services, fees, passports and visas.
    Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the preamble, 22 CFR parts 
22 and 51 are proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 22--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 22 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  8 U.S.C. 1101 note, 1153 note, 1183a note, 1351, 
1351 note, 1714, 1714 note; 10 U.S.C. 2602(c); 11 U.S.C. 1157 note; 
22 U.S.C. 214, 214 note, 1475e, 2504(a), 4201, 4206, 4215, 4219, 
6551; 31 U.S.C. 9701; Executive Order 10,718,22 FR 4632; Executive 
Order 11,295,31 FR 10603.

0
2. Amend the table in Sec.  22.1 to revise item 2c to read as follows:


Sec.  22.1  Schedule of Fees for Consular Services.

* * * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Item No.                                Fee
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    PAssport and Citizenship Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                * * * * *
2. * * *
    (c) [RESERVED]......................................
 
                                * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

PART 51--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  8 U.S.C. 1101 note, 1153 note, 1183a note, 1351, 
1351 note, 1714,1714 note; 10 U.S.C. 2602 (c); 11 U.S.C. 1157 note; 
22 U.S.C. 214, 214 note, 1475e, 2504(a), 4201,4206,4215, 4219,6551; 
31 U.S.C. 9701; Executive Order 10,718,22 FR4632; Executive Order 
11,295,31 FR 10603.
0
4. In Sec.  51.20 revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  51.20  General.

    (a) An application for a passport, a replacement passport, or other 
passport related service must be completed using the forms the 
Department prescribes.
* * * * *
0
5. In Sec.  51.56, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  51.56  Expedited passport processing.

    (a) Within the United States, an applicant for a passport service 
(including issuance or the replacement of a passport) may request 
expedited processing. The Department may decline to accept the request.
* * * * *

    Dated: April 8, 2015.
Michele T. Bond,
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Acting.
[FR Doc. 2015-09719 Filed 4-28-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4710-06-P