Federal Register: August 22, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 162)
DOCID: fr22au07-33 FR Doc E7-16311
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
CFR Citation: 8 CFR Parts 1, 264, and 299
RIN ID: RIN 1615-AB36
CIS ID: [CIS No. 2354-05; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2005-0056]
NOTICE: PROPOSED RULES
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.
Application Process for Replacing Forms I-551 Without an Expiration Date
DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before September 21, 2007.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues Permanent Resident Cards (Forms I551) to lawful permanent residents to serve as evidence of immigration status, registration, identity, and employment authorization, and as an entry document upon return from a trip outside of the United States. Currently, there are numerous lawful permanent residents who possess cards without expiration dates. USCIS intends to terminate the validity of such Forms I551. This rule proposes to establish a 120day period for lawful permanent residents who have Forms I551 that do not bear expiration dates to apply for replacement cards. This rule also proposes to amend USCIS regulations to remove references to outdated application procedures for Forms I 551. The application process proposed by this rule will enable USCIS to issue more secure Forms I551 to affected aliens, update cardholder information, conduct background checks, and electronically store applicants' biometric information that can be used for biometric comparison and authentication purposes consistent with the goals of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002.
In addition, USCIS proposes to notify the public of the termination
date for Forms I551 without expiration dates by a subsequent Notice
published in the Federal Register. This rule also proposes to correct the title and edition date of the ``Application to Replace
Lawful Permanent Resident Card,'' Form I90.
Aliens—; Permanent Resident Cards (Forms I-551) without expiration dates; replacement application process,
I. Public Participation
Interested persons are invited to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written data, views, or arguments on all aspects of the proposed rule. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also invite comments that relate to the economic or federalism effects that might result from this proposed rule. Comments that will provide the most assistance to USCIS will reference a specific portion of the proposed rule, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include data, information, or authority to support such recommended change.
Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and DHS docket No. USCIS20050056 for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. See ADDRESSES above for information on how to submit comments.
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Submitted comments
may also be inspected at the office of the Director, Regulatory
Management Division, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,
Department of Homeland Security, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20529.
A. Statutory and Regulatory Authority and Purpose
A lawful permanent resident (LPR) is an alien who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States (lawful permanent resident status), either by adjusting status from a prior immigration status within the United States or by being admitted to the United States on an immigrant visa issued abroad by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). In most cases, USCIS must first approve an immigrant petition for the intending immigrant. Typically, these petitions are filed by an employer (e.g., Form I140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) or relative (Form I130, Petition for Alien Relative). After the petition is granted, individuals living within the United States can apply for adjustment of status with USCIS or, for those in removal proceedings, the immigration court, using Form I485, ``Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.'' Individuals living abroad must file an application for an immigrant visa with a DOS consular office. See 22 CFR 42.63(a)(1) (DS230, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration).
As part of the adjustment of status application process, applicants
are required to appear at a local USCIS Application Support Center
(ASC) and submit to registration and biometrics capture by USCIS.
Biometrics capture currently includes fingerprint imaging and a digital
photograph. Following approval of an adjustment application or after
admission to the United States on an immigration visa, the new LPR will
receive a Form I551, Permanent Resident Card.\1\ (commonly referred to
as a ``green card''). A Form I551 is evidence of the holder's
authorization to live and work in the United States. See Immigration
and Nationality Act (INA) sections 264(d), 274A(b)(1)(B)(ii) (8 U.S.C. 1304(d), 1324a(b)(1)(B)(ii)); 8 CFR 264.1(b); 8 CFR
\1\ Form I551 has two titlesAlien Registration Receipt Card and Permanent Resident Cardbecause it underwent a name change in January 20, 1999 from ``Alien Registration Receipt Card'' to ``Permanent Resident Card,'' and both versions of Form I551 remain in circulation. 63 FR 70313 (Dec. 21, 1998).
USCIS has been authorized to collect information and require the
registration of aliens under section 262 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1302.
Aliens registering with USCIS are required to provide information
regarding the date and place of the alien's entry into the United
States; the activities in which the alien has been and intends to be
engaged; the length of time the alien expects to remain in the United
States; the police and criminal record, if any, of the alien; and any
additional matters prescribed by DHS or DOS. INA sec. 264(a), 8 U.S.C.
1304(a). All registered aliens over 18 years of age must carry evidence
of registration. INA sec. 264(e), 8 U.S.C. 1304(e). The failure to
carry evidence of registration is a misdemeanor offense. Id. The Form
I551 is a form of evidence of registration issued to individuals who
are LPRs. 8 CFR 264.1(b). The Form I551 also serves as evidence of employment authorization and identity (see 8 CFR
274a.2(b)(1)(v)(A)(2)), and is used as an entry document upon return from a trip outside the United States (see 8 CFR 211.1(a)(2)).
Until 1989, Forms I551 issued to LPRs did not contain expiration
dates; therefore, those still in circulation do not require periodic
replacement. See Memorandum from Commissioner James L. Buck on Alien
Registration Documentation (Form I551) (July 18, 1989).\2\ In August
1989, however, the thenImmigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
began issuing Forms I551 with a 10year expiration date, thereby
requiring the cardholder to apply periodically for a new card, and, in
so doing, appear before USCIS to update personal information, the
photograph contained on the card, and other biometric information, such
as fingerprints. See 8 CFR 264.5(a), (b), (c); Instructions to Form I
90, ``Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.'' The Form I551
replacement process gives DHS an opportunity to collect updated
biometric information, conduct background checks, and issue updated cards.
\2\ The public can access a copy of this memorandum from the public docket for this rulemaking at http://www.regulations.gov, DHS Docket No. USCIS20050056.
When the 10year Form I551 was introduced in 1989, it was not
administratively feasible for the INS to terminate the validity of all
the millions of Forms I551 in circulation that did not have expiration dates. USCIS now
has established processes to enable it to require LPRs with Forms I551 without expiration dates to apply for new cards and terminate the validity of Forms I551 without expiration dates. These processes include the establishment, in 1997 and 1998, of Application Support Centers (ASCs) across the United States that, through electronic scheduling of appointments, currently serve as efficient intake centers. In addition, biometrics began to be captured electronically in 1999. Finally, USCIS implemented a new, highlyautomated filing procedure in May 2005 where applicants file their Forms I90 with a U.S. Treasury Departmentdesignated and operated lockbox provider that allows USCIS to process the applications and associated fees more expeditiously. As a result of these improvements, USCIS now has the capability to process a large influx of Forms I90 over a short period of time.
The need to remove Forms I551 without expiration dates from circulation is supported by the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (``BSA''), Public Law 107173, 116 Stat. 543 (May 14, 2002), amended by Public Law 108299, 118 Stat. 1100 (Aug. 9, 2004). Section 302(b)(1) of the BSA, 8 U.S.C. 1732(b)(1), requires the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State, to issue, not later than October 26, 2004, only machinereadable, tamper resistant visas and other travel and entry documents that use biometrics identifiers. The Form I551 falls within the scope of the BSA because, in addition to serving as evidence of registration, it also serves as an entry document for LPRs returning to the United States after a trip abroad. See 8 CFR 211.1(a)(2).
Prior to October 26, 2004, USCIS determined that the Form I551 was compliant with the requirements of section 302(b)(1) of the BSA, 8 U.S.C. 1732(b)(1). The Form I551, including the version that does not contain an expiration date, is machinereadable and contains tamper resistant features and biometrics identifiers. While compliant, older versions of the Form I551 without expiration dates do not contain the same level of tamperresistant features and biometric identifiers as the current version. Forms I551 with expiration dates must be renewed periodically, at which point USCIS can issue new cards containing updated technologies and biometrics information. This is not possible for Forms I551 without expiration dates. Consequently, in order to ensure that the Forms I551 in circulation contain the higher level of tamperresistant features and biometric identifiers that currently issued cards contain, USCIS intends to terminate the validity of Forms I551 without expiration dates. In addition, USCIS must ensure that it maintains current biometrics to enable it to conduct background checks on Form I551 holders to confirm that they are compliant with the laws of the United States and that they are not a threat to national security. By periodically requiring all Form I551 holders to apply for replacement cards, USCIS will be able to confirm this information and update background and biometric information.
For these reasons, USCIS proposes to set the form, manner and time
that alien registration receipt cards are issued as authorized under
section 264(d) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1304(d). The rule proposes to amend
the regulations to require bearers of Forms I551 without expiration
dates to apply for a replacement card during a 120day application
period. This proposed rule also amends the regulations governing the
application process for replacing Forms I551 and makes technical
corrections to the title of the application used to replace Forms I
551. Finally, this rule proposes a mechanism for terminating Forms I
551 without an expiration date by notice in the Federal Register. B. Changes Made by This Rule
1. Requirement To Replace Forms I551 Without Expiration Dates
This rule proposes to amend 8 CFR 264.5(c)(1) to add Form I551
without an expiration date to the current list of outdated permanent
resident cards that are required to be replaced by the filing of Form
I90, ``Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.'' The current
list consists of Forms AR3, AR103, and I151. This proposed amendment
also would impose a 120day application period for those LPRs holding
Forms I551 without an expiration date to apply for a replacement card.
Through the Form I90 application process, applicants would be required
to provide their current biographic and biometric information. Based on
this information, USCIS would conduct security checks to verify the
identity of card recipients and continued eligibility for LPR status.
USCIS would charge the standard, Form I90 application fee and the
biometric information collection service fee to cover all associated
costs. The current fees are $290 for the Form I90 and $80 for the
biometric information collection service.\3\ After completion of the
120day application period, USCIS would set a termination date for the validity of such Forms I551.
\3\ If an applicant is able to demonstrate that he or she is unable to pay the standard Form I90 fee and/or the biometric service fee associated with the filing of a Form I90, he or she may request a fee waiver pursuant to 8 CFR 103.7(c). However, at present, USCIS does not waive the biometric service fee associated with the filing of a Form I90. 69 FR 20528, 20529 (Apr. 15, 2004).
USCIS believes that an application period of 120 days will be
sufficient for affected LPRs to learn of the new requirement and to
complete the required Form I90. USCIS plans to conduct an extensive
outreach program to alert the affected group of LPRs of the need to
apply for new cards. This outreach program would include issuing press
releases, posting program announcements and questionandanswer (Q&A)
documents to the USCIS website, distributing fliers and pamphlets at
USCIS field offices, and conducting informational meetings with
communitybased organizations (CBOs). USCIS also will encourage
applicants to file the Form I90 electronically, rather than on paper. In general, USCIS can process I90 applications submitted
electronically faster than those applications filed on paper. The application form itself is not complicated and takes an estimated average time of 55 minutes to complete. USCIS seeks public comment on the application period.
After the 120day application period expires, LPRs who failed to
timely file Forms I90 to replace their Forms I551 would still be
required to apply for a replacement card. An alien who fails to file a
Form I90 during this application period will still hold the status of
an alien who has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence, since
this status continues until it is terminated by entry of a removal
order against the alien. 8 CFR 1.1(p). The alien will not, however, be
in compliance with the requirement under section 264(e) of the Act, 8
U.S.C. 1304(e), that the alien must have in his or her possession at
all times the evidence of his or her having registered. To obtain new
evidence of registration, the alien will need to file a Form I90. For
any alien who does not file before the application period expires,
however, USCIS would not be able to ensure that the alien will receive
a new Form I551 before the old Form I551 is deemed to have expired.
Strictly speaking, an alien who is at least 18 years old, who fails to
file a timely Form I90, and whose current Form I551, therefore, expires, could be prosecuted for violating section 264(e).
If convicted, the person could be sentenced to pay a fine of up to $100, to imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both. It is also a misdemeanor under section 266(a) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1306(a), for an alien to fail to register as required. The alien can be prosecuted for failure to register, however, only if the failure to register is proven to be willful. USCIS does not anticipate that either of these criminal sanctions would be routinely used against aliens who fail to obtain new Forms I551. The far more common action, should USCIS discover that an alien's Form I551 has expired, will be to advise the alien to file a Form I551 to obtain a new Form I551. If the alien still fails to apply for a new Form I551, it may become feasible to prove that the failure to do so is willful. USCIS anticipates, however, that aliens will, generally, comply with the requirement to obtain a new Form I 551, once they become aware of the requirement.
Once implemented as a final rule, LPRs affected by the requirements
proposed under this rule may choose to apply for naturalization during
the 120day application period instead of a new Form I551. However,
USCIS would not be able to guarantee the completion of its adjudication
of such naturalization applications before it terminates the validity
of Forms I551 without expiration dates. For those LPRs who have
applied for, but do not receive, a grant of naturalization by the time
USCIS sets the termination date, USCIS may issue interim evidence of registration.
2. Termination of the Validity of Forms I551 Without an Expiration Date
Forms I551 without an expiration date will remain valid throughout the 120day application period that will be set by the final rule for replacing such Forms I551. After the 120day application period, USCIS will assess the number of applications received and the timeframes for application processing and card production. Once USCIS has processed the applications and issued replacement Forms I551, USCIS will be in a position to set a date for terminating the validity of Forms I551 without expiration dates. This rule proposes amendments to 8 CFR 264.5(c)(1) to provide that USCIS will announce the termination date after the 120day application period through a Notice published in the Federal Register.
USCIS is proceeding in this way to minimize the possibility that applicants will not have received a replacement Form I551 in hand when the validity of their previous Form I551 is terminated. USCIS cannot precisely estimate the number of applications it will receive to allow USCIS to plan exact timelines for card production and, in turn, a termination date. USCIS will only be able to set timelines based upon the actual volume of applications received. Issuing a separate Notice published in the Federal Register to advise the public of the termination of the validity of Forms I551 without expiration dates would allow USCIS to implement a termination date that accommodates USCIS's processing needs and applicants' need for valid documentation.
In addition to establishing the mechanism for terminating Forms I 551 without expiration dates, this rule also clarifies that ``Form I 551,'' when used elsewhere in the regulations, means a valid, unexpired Form I551. To do so, this proposed rule would amend the list of terms defined in 8 CFR 1.1 by adding a limiting definition of Form I551. Current regulations do not define Form I551; instead, the regulations identify its uses. As stated earlier in this Supplementary Information, the regulations identify Form I551 as an entry document in 8 CFR 211.1(a)(2), evidence of registration in 8 CFR 264.1(b), an immigration status document in 8 CFR 274a.12(a)(1), and a combination identity and employment authorization document in 8 CFR 274a.2(b)(1)(v)(A)(2). These references to Form I551 apply to both the version of the card with an expiration date and the version of the card without an expiration date. This rule proposes introducing a limiting definition of Form I551 rather than amend each reference so that it is clear to the public what constitutes a valid Form I551 with respect to any of its uses, particularly following the termination date of the validity of Forms I 551 without an expiration date. This rule proposes to limit the term, ``Form I551'' to mean the version of the form with an expiration date. See proposed 8 CFR 1.1(AA). A Form I551 that does not bear an expiration date would not be valid for any use under the regulations unless otherwise specifically provided in the regulations. Id.
Until the validity of Forms I551 without an expiration is terminated via Notice published in the Federal Register, this rule, at 8 CFR 264.1(c)(1), proposes that such Forms I551 would remain valid. To do otherwise would have the effect of prematurely terminating the validity of Forms I551. The current regulations permit the use of expired Forms I551 in other circumstances as well. For example, an expired Form I551 may be used for entry to the United States and for presenting evidence of identity to an employer. 8 CFR 211.3 (entry); 8 CFR 274a.2(b)(1)(v)(B)(1)(v) (identity). Under this proposed rule, such Forms I551 and those without expiration dates would remain valid in these instances.
It is important to note that the planned termination of Forms I551 without expiration dates as proposed under this rule would not affect the immigration status and employment authorization of the holders of such cards; they remain LPRs and their employment is authorized incident to status. See INA 274A(h)(3)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1324a(h)(3)(A); 8 CFR 274a.12(a).
Under the requirements proposed in this rule, an LPR who fails to
obtain a new Form I551 by the I551 termination date would not be in
possession of a valid Form I551. As a result, he or she may experience
difficulties in meeting other requirements where valid documentation is
necessary. For example, the LPR with an invalid Form I551 may
experience difficulty returning to the United States after a trip
abroad or in obtaining new employment, and would not be in possession
of valid registration documentation. See 8 CFR 211.1(a) (entry to the
United States); 8 CFR 274a.2(b)(1)(v)(A) (employment ); 8 CFR 264.1(b) (registration).
3. Changes to the Application Process for Replacing Forms I551
This rule also proposes amending the regulations at 8 CFR 264.5(e)
to update the application procedures for replacing Forms I551. Current
regulations at 8 CFR 264.5(e) cover the following application
requirements: The documentation that must accompany Form I90 upon
filing, including the Permanent Resident Card being replaced,
photographs, evidence of name change, and signature on the Data
Collection Form (Form I89); proper filing locations; fingerprint
submissions; interviews; and waiver of the photograph, inperson
filing, and signature requirements. Form I90 processing procedures are
also provided in the instructions to the Form I90. Because the form
instructions are more current, some of the information in the form
instructions reflect changes to procedures that are not also reflected
in 8 CFR 264.5(e). Whereas 8 CFR 264.5(e)(1) requires the submission of
photographs and supporting documentary evidence with the application
upon filing, current form instructions provide that this biometric
information and evidence will be accepted by USCIS when the applicant [[Page 46926]]
appears at an Application Support Center (ASC) (a USCIS facility that captures biometrics) following submission of the application. In addition, 8 CFR 264.5(e)(2)(i) provides that applicants must file Forms I90 with the local office or Service Center having jurisdiction over their place of residence; instructions to the Form I90 provide that the application must be submitted to the lockbox address specified in the instructions or filed electronically. Finally, while 8 CFR 264.5(e)(3)(i) only requires applicants who are replacing their Permanent Resident Cards because they have reached 14 years of age to submit to fingerprinting, the instructions to the Form I90 require all applicants to appear at a USCIS ASC to submit to biometrics capture. Biometrics capture is a broader term than fingerprinting and covers fingerprints, photographs, and signatures. 69 FR 5088, 5090 (Feb. 3, 2004) (proposing a fee increase for biometric capture services, as well as other immigration and naturalization benefits and services).
To ensure that applicants receive clear and consistent filing information, this rule proposes to revise 8 CFR 264.5(e) in its entirety to remove outdated filing instructions, refer applicants to the instructions accompanying the form, and update biometrics capture requirements. Proposed 8 CFR 264.5(e) includes a paragraph on filing requirements, biometrics capture, and interviews. Rather than specify the filing requirements, this proposed rule refers applicants to the Form I90 instructions. Proposed 8 CFR 264.5(e)(1). The Form I90, including the filing instructions, is available on the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. USCIS has determined that filing information is better placed in form instructions alone, which are reviewed and updated periodically and are more accessible to the public than regulatory provisions. By providing one source for stating the filing requirements, USCIS will avoid confusion and potential conflict between the requirements stated in the regulations and those stated in the form instructions.
This rule also proposes to amend USCIS regulations to reflect the biometrics capture requirements in the current Form I90 instructions. Proposed 8 CFR 264.5(e)(2). Those instructions require all applicants to appear at an ASC for biometrics capture and pay a separate biometrics fee with the Form I90 filing. By contrast, the current regulations require all applicants to provide a photograph and signature, but only require individuals replacing their Form I551 on the basis that they have turned 14 years of age to be subject to fingerprinting. See 8 CFR 264.5(e)(3)(i). This rule proposes to amend the regulations to require all applicants to submit to all of the types of biometrics capture, including fingerprinting. USCIS is proposing to expand the fingerprinting requirement to all Form I90 applicants to enable USCIS to obtain current biometrics information needed for Form I551 card production, conduct appropriate background checks before cards are issued, and store this information for biometrics comparison and authentication purposes required by section 302(b)(2)(A) of the BSA, 8 U.S.C. 1732(b)(2)(A).
Note, in particular, that this proposed rule would change the
current provision in current 8 CFR 264.5(e)(3)(iii) concerning the
USCIS authority to waive the submission of biometric information. In
light of the security concerns arising from the September 11, 2001,
terrorist attack on the United States, it has been USCIS policy not to
exercise this authority by actually waiving the photograph or other
requirements. See Memorandum from William R. Yates for Regional
Directors and Center Directors, Alterations to the ADIT photograph
requirements (September 4, 2003) Memorandum from Johnny N. Williams for
Regional Directors, Waiver of Photograph for I90 Applicants Seeking
Replacement or Renewal Form I551 (February 14, 2003). The Memoranda
are included in the public docket for this rule at http://www.regulations.gov , DHS Docket No. USCIS200556. A Form I551 without
a photograph of the person to whom it relates does not serve the essential purpose of the Form I551: To provide for a ready means of identifying the actual person who has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence. In the case of an alien who is physically unable to come to a USCIS facility due to advanced age or physical infirmity, the practice has not been actually to waive the photograph and other biometrics requirements. Instead, the practice has been to provide an alternative means for collecting this evidence. The most common practice is to permit the applicant to provide passportstyle photographs, police clearance letters, and other appropriate evidence.
The rule, once final, would retain the provisions governing waivers of the biometrics capture requirement in current 8 CFR 264.5(e)(3)(iii) and interviews in current 8 CFR 264.5(e)(3)(ii), except that the provisions are renumbered to new 8 CFR 264.5(e)(2) and (e)(3). In addition, the rule simplifies the text of these provisions; no substantive changes are proposed.
This rule also proposes technical corrections to 8 CFR 299.1 and
299.5 by adding the updated edition date (03/31/05) and title of the
Form I90 to those sections. The Form I90's proper title is
``Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.'' The form was
revised to reflect this title; however, the regulations listing immigration forms were never revised.
III. Regulatory Requirements
A. Regulatory Flexibility Act
The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996 (SBRFA), requires an agency to prepare and make available to the public a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). DHS has considered the impact of this rule on small entities and has determined that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The individual lawful permanent residents to whom this rule applies are not small entities as that term is defined in 5 U.S.C. 601(6). There is no change expected in any process as a result of this rule that would have a direct effect, either positive or negative, on a small entity. Accordingly, this rule, once final, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. B. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and
tribal governments in the aggregate of $100 million or more in any one
year. However, as discussed below under Executive Order 12866, this
action will result in the expenditure by the private sector of more
than $100 million over the period of time that the program is in place.
Only holders of Forms I551, ``Permanent Resident Cards,'' without expiration dates will bear the costs of this rule.
C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996
This rule is a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule, once final, will result in an effect on the economy of
approximately $290 million in the first year after this rule is published, $24 million in the second year after this rule is published, and $13 million in the third year after this rule is published. This increase is directly associated with the expected increase in the number of Forms I90 and amount of accompanying filing and biometrics fees that USCIS will receive to replace Forms I551, `` Permanent Resident Cards,'' without expiration dates prior to termination of such cards.
D. Executive Order 12866
This rule has been identified as an economically significant rule under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f)(1), Regulatory Planning and Review. Accordingly, this rule has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review. USCIS has assessed both the costs and benefits of this rule, as required by Executive Order 12866, and has made a reasoned determination that the benefits justify the costs.
USCIS estimates that 750,000 persons will apply for a replacement Form I551, ``Permanent Resident Card,'' in accordance with this rule. The most likely estimated cost of this rule for these persons is $327 million over a threeyear period of analysis (20072009). Over the threeyear period of analysis, the present value cost of this proposed rule is approximately $267 million at 7%. A threeyear period of analysis was chosen since those aliens who are required by this rulemaking to obtain a new Form I551 will do so only in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The $327 million estimate consists of $278 million in fees associated with the Form I90, $42 million in opportunity cost for an applicant's time, and $7 million in transportation costs for round trip transit to the nearest USCIS Application Support Center (ASC). The calendar year breakdown of these costs is $290 million for Calendar Year (CY) 2007 ($278 million in fees plus $12 million in applicant time and transportation costs), $24 million for CY 2008 (applicant time and transportation costs), and $13 million for CY 2009 (applicant time and transportation costs). The cost assessment, which includes a discussion of both the maximum and most likely estimated costs of this rule, follows.
In an effort to improve the security of the documents that USCIS issues for use by the public, this rule calls for a 120day period, beginning 30 days from the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register, within which time LPRs holding Forms I551 without expiration dates must apply to replace their card. To apply, they must file Form I90 with a fee of $290 and an additional biometrics capture fee of $80. The total current cost is $370.
Those who apply for a replacement Form I551 under this rule must submit biometrics that will be used for background checks and stored for future use. Based on technology and processes being developed by DHS, stored biometrics will be available for access by DHS for other immigration and law enforcement uses (a security benefit to the public at large), and these applicants might not need to return to an ASC for purposes of triggering certain background checks such as FBI fingerprints, should they decide to naturalize or apply for a replacement Form I551 in the future.
The primary benefit to the government resulting from this rule is enhanced national security. Once the program is complete, all LPRs will have Forms I551 with latemodel technology. The biometrics of the rightful holder will be electronically stored in a secure DHS database that is easily retrievable and that can be used for data matching purposes among the DHS components. The card itself will bear a current photograph, facilitating its use by employers and the travel industry.
USCIS considered a number of alternatives to this proposed rulemaking. One alternative was for USCIS to maintain the current regulations. However, such an action would result in the agency's failure to fully meet the goals of section 303(b) of the BSA, 8 U.S.C. 1732(b). Another alternative was to expire pre1989 cards, but lower the fees for replacing the cards. However, under this alternative, the agency would fail to meet its general obligation to ensure that the fees for such services are established at rates that allow the agency to recoup its costs, and would unfairly transfer the costs of this program to all other applicants for benefits and services from USCIS. See OMB Circular A25 (available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a025/a025.html ).
USCIS data indicates that the number of Forms I551 without an
expiration date issued, minus the number of persons known to have held
these cards before naturalizing, is 1.9 million. Consequently, the
maximum number of aliens impacted by this rule is 1.9 million.\4\ The
direct cost to each applicant for replacement of a card under this
program is $370 in fees ($290 for the application plus $80 for the
biometrics capture fee). These costs fall exclusively upon individuals
who possess cards issued before August of 1989 and which do not have an
expiration date. Because these persons would not otherwise have to
acquire new cards, and would not otherwise have all their biometrics
captured, we believe these fees would be generated only by this new
rule. Based upon these figures, this rule will cost applicants a maximum of $703 million in fees ($370 x 1.9 million).
\4\ As stated above, and as explained below, USCIS only anticipates that 750,000 persons will apply for a replacement card. This discussion uses the figure 1.9 million instead to reflect the maximum number of persons that may be impacted by this rule.
Furthermore, each member of this group would be required to spend two hours and 55 minutes complying with this rule. USCIS estimates that each applicant will spend ten minutes reading the application Form I90 instructions. Each applicant also will take ten minutes to complete the form and thirtyfive minutes to assemble and submit the form, for a total of 55 minutes of each applicant's time.
Applicants will also be required to travel to the nearest USCIS Application Support Center (ASC). While travel times and distances will vary, USCIS estimates the average roundtrip to an ASC will be 20 miles, and that the average time for that trip will be an hour. It will take an average of one hour for an applicant to wait for service, and to have his or her biometrics collected.
Total time for each applicant to comply with this requirement is two hours and fiftyfive minutes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in its 2006 national compensation survey that the average, U.S.employed person earned $19.29 an hour (BLS Web site). In addition, the average wage of this large group should mimic the national average. Consequently, USCIS believes that $19.29 an hour is a reasonable proxy to use to value the opportunity cost of time for the applicants subject to this rule. The total cost for applicant time spent is calculated as $107 million (1.9 million persons x 2.916 hours x $19.29).
Additionally, there is the cost of travel. USCIS anticipates most applicants will drive privatelyowned vehicles to the ASCs. GSA's published decision of February 1, 2007, on this subject calculates the cost of operating a privatelyowned vehicle as 48.5 cents a mile. (GSA Web site, reporting on findings for February 1, 2007). Therefore, USCIS calculates the transportation costs as $19 million (1.9 million persons x 48.5 cents per mile x 20 miles).
Thus, if all holders of cards issued without expiration dates filed a replacement application, the total
[[Page 469286 ETc.)]]
maximum cost of the program would consist of $703 million in fees, $107 million in time, and $19 million in transportation costs. The total maximum cost of compliance to this rule by 1.9 million persons is $829 million ($703 million + $107 million + $19 million).
Notwithstanding, experience from the replacement program for an earlier, nowinvalid version of the Permanent Resident Card (Form I 151) has shown that a portion of these applicants will apply for naturalization rather than replace their Permanent Resident Cards and thus significantly reduce the overall cost of this rule. Other holders of affected cards may be deceased, may have relinquished their United States residence, or may have previously replaced their cards for other reasons, such as the replacement of a lost or mutilated card. In addition, some potential applicants may choose not to spend time and money to replace their cards, because they do not habitually travel outside the United States. Some potential applicants, in spite of USCIS's public relations efforts, may not learn of the requirement that such cards be changed. Also, some cards may be in possession of persons who obtained them fraudulently or who have committed serious criminal offenses since obtaining their cards. USCIS theorizes that these persons may choose not to take the perceived risk of contacting DHS and of calling into question their right to be in the United States.
USCIS accordingly estimates the most likely outcome of this program is that 750,000 persons issued cards without expiration dates, but not yet recorded as naturalized, will apply for replacement cards under this rule. USCIS calculates the cost of the primary estimate as $327 million ($829 million x 0.395 or 750,000 of 1.9 million maximum applicants). Based on the formulas provided above, USCIS's $327 million estimate consists of $278 million in fees associated with the Form I 90, $42 million in opportunity costs for an applicant's time, and $7 million in transportation costs for round trip transit to the nearest USCIS Application Support Center.
As required by OMB Circular A4 (available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a004/a4.html ), in Table 1, USCIS has
prepared an accounting statement showing the classification of the expenditures associated with this economically significant rule. The table provides USCIS's primary or most likely estimate of the dollar amount of these costs expressed on an annualized basis and also includes USCIS's maximum annualized estimate at both the three percent and seven percent discount rates. The period of analysis is three years (2007, 2008, and 2009). Based on USCIS's primary or most likely estimate, the undiscounted total cost of this rule will be approximately $327 million. USCIS anticipates that the duration of the I551 replacement card program implemented by the final rule will be three (3) years. Consequently, when the undiscounted total cost is broken down into calendar years, this rulemaking is expected to cost $290 million in 2007, $24 million in 2008, and $13 million in 2009. Below is the expected annualized cost of this rulemaking, at both 3% and 7%, over the three year period of analysis. Enhanced security and the capabilities accompanying the storage of full fingerprint sets for subsequent retrieval constitute nonquantified benefits.
OMB #: 16150082
Agency/Program Office: DHS/USCIS
Rule Title: Application Process for Replacing Forms I551 without an Expiration Date
Classification of Expenditures, CY 2007 Through CY 2009 [2006 Dollars] Source citation Category Primary estimate Minimum estimate Maximum estimate (RIA, preamble, etc.) BENEFITS Enhanced Border Control, More secure alien registration Preamble document Monetized benefits
Annualized quantified, but NA................. NA................ NA................ NA unmonetized, benefits.
(Unquantified) benefits.... Enhanced Security..
Annualized monetized costs at 3 $89.07 million per
Annual monetized costs at 7 $99.85 million per
Annualized quantified, but un NA................. NA................ NA................ NA monetized, costs.
Annualized monetized transfers: NA................. NA................ NA................ NA ``on budget''.
From whom to whom?
Annualized monetized transfers: NA................. NA................ NA................ NA ``offbudget''.
From whom to whom?
Category Effects Source citation (RIA, preamble, etc.) Effects on State, local, and/or NA................. NA................ NA................ NA Tribal governments.
Effects on small businesses.... NA................. NA................ NA................ NA Effects on wages............... NA................. NA................ NA................ NA Effects on growth.............. NA................. NA................ NA................ NA [[Page 46929]]
E. Executive Order 13132
This proposed 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, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.
F. Executive Order 12988 Civil Justice Reform
This proposed rule meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.
G. Paperwork Reduction Act
Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 10413, all
departments are required to submit to the Office of Management and
Budget (OMB), for review and approval, any reporting requirements
inherent in a rule. This rule includes an approved information
collection. The OMB control number for this collection is 16150082 and
is contained in 8 CFR 299.5. However, this rule will increase the
number of respondents and the burden hours, and public costs.
Accordingly, when this rule is finalized, USCIS will submit to OMB for
approval an 83C Change Worksheet that reflects any change in Form I90
filings and any related changes to the public costs associated with this collection.
List of Subjects
8 CFR Part 1
Administrative practice and procedure, Immigration. 8 CFR Part 264
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
8 CFR Part 299
Immigration, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. PART 1DEFINITIONS
1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101; 8 U.S.C. 1103; 5 U.S.C. 301; Public Law 107296, 116 Stat. 2135 (6 U.S.C. 1 et seq.).
2. Section 1.1(aa) is added to read as follows:
Sec. 1.1 Definitions.
* * * * *
(aa) The term Form I551 means a Permanent Resident Card, or an Alien Registration Receipt Card, issued on a Form I551 with an expiration date. Unless otherwise specifically provided in this chapter I, a Form I551 is not valid for any use under this chapter I unless it bears an expiration date and is unexpired.
PART 264REGISTRATION AND FINGERPRINTING OF ALIENS IN THE UNITED STATES
3. The authority citation for part 264 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1103, 1201, 13031305; 8 CFR part 2.
4. Section 264.5 is amended by:
a. Revising paragraph (c)(1); and by
b. Revising paragraph (e).
The revisions read as follows:
Sec. 264.5 Application for a replacement Permanent Resident Card. * * * * *
(c) * * *
(1) A permanent resident must apply on Form I90 to replace a prior edition of the Alien Registration Receipt Card issued on Form AR3, AR 103, or I151. A permanent resident must apply between October 22, 2007 and February 19, 2008 on Form I90 to replace a prior edition of Form I551 without an expiration date. A permanent resident who fails to apply during this 120day application period still must apply to replace a Form I551 without an expiration date but might not be issued a replacement Form I551 before the termination of the validity of all Forms I551 without an expiration date. USCIS will announce the termination date of the validity of Forms I551 without an expiration date in a Notice published in the Federal Register. Forms I551 without an expiration date will remain valid until such termination date. * * * * *
(e) Application process(1) Filing requirements. Form I90 must be filed in accordance with the instructions on the form.
(2) Biometrics capture. If the application is properly filed, the applicant will receive a notice to appear in person at a USCIS facility for biometrics capture. In the case of an applicant who is physically incapable, because of the applicant's confinement due to advanced age or physical infirmity, of appearing at a USCIS facility for biometrics capture, USCIS may excuse the applicant's personal appearance at a USCIS facility and provide an appropriate alternative means for obtaining the applicant's photograph or other biometrics information. (3) Interview. An applicant may be required to appear in person before an immigration or consular officer and be interviewed under oath in connection with this application.
* * * * *
PART 299IMMIGRATION FORMS
5. The authority citation for part 299 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101 and note, 1103; 8 CFR part 2.
6. Section 299.1 is amended in the table by revising the entry for Form ``I90'', to read as follows:
Sec. 299.1 Prescribed forms.
* * * * *
Form No. Edition date Title and description * * * * * * *
I90........................... 03/31/05 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
* * * * * * *
Sec. 299.5 Display of control numbers.
7. Section 299.5 is amended in the table by revising the entry for Form ``I90'', to read as follows:
* * * * *
Currently Form No. Form title assigned OMB control No. * * * * * * *
I90.......................... Application to 16150082 Replace Permanent
* * * * * * *
[FR Doc. E716311 Filed 82107; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 441010P
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
R. Mark Phillips, Supervisory Adjudications Policy Officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 20 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 2304, Washington, DC 20529, telephone (202) 2728350.