[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 30 (Tuesday, February 14, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 8119-8120]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3455]



22 CFR Part 41

[Public Notice 7796]

Visas: Issuance of Full Validity L Visas to Qualified Applicants

AGENCY: State Department.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This rule permits the issuance of L visas with validity 
periods based on the visa reciprocity schedule; whereas the current 
rule limits L visas to the petition validity period, which is 
determined by the Department of Homeland Security.

DATES: This rule is effective February 14, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lauren A. Prosnik, Legislation and 
Regulations Division, Visa Services, Department of State, 2401 E Street 
NW., Room L-603D, Washington, DC 20520-0106, (202) 663-1260.


Why is the department promulgating this rule?

    Current Department regulations require that L visa duration be 
limited to the validity period of the petition, which, under Department 
of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, cannot exceed three years. 
Petitioners may apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 
(USCIS) for extension of petition validity in increments of up to two 
years, but the total period of stay may not exceed five years for 
aliens employed in a specialized knowledge capacity, or seven years for 
aliens employed in a managerial or executive capacity. The Department 
is changing this regulation to delink visa and petition validity 
periods, as currently required by 22 CFR 41.54(c), ``Validity of 
visa''. As a result, L visa validity will be governed by 22 CFR 41.112, 
which provides that, except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of 
that section, a nonimmigrant visa shall have the validity prescribed in 
schedules provided to consular officers by the Department, which 
reflect the reciprocal treatment the applicant's country accords U.S. 
nationals, U.S. permanent residents, or aliens granted refugee status 
in the United States. The change would assist beneficiaries of 
petitions for L status who are nationals of countries for which the 
reciprocity schedule prescribes visa validity for a longer period of 
time than the initial validity indicated in the petition approved by 
DHS and who have extended their L stay while in the United States. 
Subject to 22 CFR 41.112(c), such individuals generally would not need 
to apply again for an L visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas if 
they were to travel outside the United States during the period 
indicated in the applicable reciprocity schedule, as is currently 
required when petition validity has been extended. Under 8 CFR 
214.2(l)(11), an alien may apply for admission in L status only while 
the individual or blanket petition is valid.

Regulatory Findings

Administrative Procedure Act

    This regulation involves a foreign affairs function of the United 
States and, therefore, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1), is not 
subject to the rule making procedures set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553.

Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business

    Because this final rule is exempt from notice and comment 
rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 553, it is exempt from the regulatory 
flexibility analysis requirements set forth at sections 603 and 604 of 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 603 and 604). Nonetheless, 
consistent with section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 605(b)), the Department certifies that this rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
This regulates individual aliens applying for visas under INA Sec.  
101(A)(15)(L) and does not affect any small entities, as defined in 5 
U.S.C. 601(6).

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, Public Law 
104-4, 109 Stat. 48, 2 U.S.C. 1532, generally requires agencies to 
prepare a statement before proposing any rule that may result in an 
annual expenditure of $100 million or more by State, local, or tribal 
governments, or by the private sector. This rule will not result in any 
such expenditure, nor will it significantly or uniquely affect small 

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804, for 
purposes of congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, Public Law 104-
121. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of 
$100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or adverse 
effects on competition,

[[Page 8120]]

employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies 
in domestic and import markets.

Executive Order 12866

    The Department of State has reviewed this proposed rule to ensure 
its consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth 
in Executive Order 12866 and has determined that the benefits of this 
final regulation justify its costs. The Department does not consider 
this final rule to be an economically significant action within the 
scope of section 3(f)(1) of the Executive Order since it is not likely 
to have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or to 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, 
or State, local or tribal governments or communities.

Executive Orders 12372 and 13132: Federalism

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Nor will the rule have federalism 
implications warranting the application of Executive Orders No. 12372 
and No. 13132.

Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform

    The Department has reviewed the regulations in light of sections 
3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order No. 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, 
minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce 

Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    The Department has considered this rule in light of Executive Order 
13563, dated January 18, 2011, and affirms that this regulation is 
consistent with the guidance therein.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose information collection requirements under 
the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 41

    Documentation of nonimmigrants.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of State 
amends 22 CFR part 41 to read as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 41 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  8 U.S.C. 1104; Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681-795 
through 2681-801; 8 U.S.C. 1185 note (section 7209 of Pub. L. 108-
458, as amended by section 546 of Pub. L. 109-295).

2. Section 41.54 is revised to read as follows:

Sec.  41.54  Intracompany transferees (executives, managers, and 
specialized knowledge employees)

    (a) Requirements for L classification. An alien shall be 
classifiable under the provisions of INA section 101(a)(15)(L) if:
    (1) The consular officer is satisfied that the alien qualifies 
under that section; and either
    (2) In the case of an individual petition, the consular officer has 
received official evidence of the approval by DHS of a petition to 
accord such classification or of the extension by DHS of the period of 
authorized stay in such classification; or
    (3) In the case of a blanket petition,
    (i) The alien has presented to the consular officer official 
evidence of the approval by DHS of a blanket petition listing only 
those intracompany relationships and positions found to qualify under 
INA section 101(a)(15)(L);
    (ii) The alien is otherwise eligible for L-1 classification 
pursuant to the blanket petition; and,
    (iii) The alien requests that he or she be accorded such 
classification for the purpose of being transferred to, or remaining 
in, qualifying positions identified in such blanket petition; or
    (4) The consular officer is satisfied the alien is the spouse or 
child of an alien so classified and is accompanying or following to 
join the principal alien.
    (b) Petition approval. The approval of a petition by DHS does not 
establish that the alien is eligible to receive a nonimmigrant visa.
    (c) Alien not entitled to L-1 classification under individual 
petition. The consular officer must suspend action on the alien's 
application and submit a report to the approving DHS office if the 
consular officer knows or has reason to believe that an alien applying 
for a visa as the beneficiary of an approved individual petition under 
INA section 101(a)(15)(L) is not entitled to such classification as 
    (d) Labor disputes. Citizens of Canada or Mexico shall not be 
entitled to classification under this section if the Secretary of 
Homeland Security and the Secretary of Labor have certified that:
    (1) There is in progress a strike or lockout in the course of a 
labor dispute in the occupational classification at the place or 
intended place of employment; and,
    (2) The alien has failed to establish that the alien's entry will 
not affect adversely the settlement of the strike or lockout or the 
employment of any person who is involved in the strike or lockout.
    (e) Alien not entitled to L-1 classification under blanket 
petition. The consular officer shall deny L classification based on a 
blanket petition if the documentation presented by the alien claiming 
to be a beneficiary thereof does not establish to the satisfaction of 
the consular officer that
    (1) The alien has been continuously employed by the same employer, 
an affiliate or a subsidiary thereof, for one year within the three 
years immediately preceding the application for the L visa;
    (2) The alien was rendering services in a capacity that is 
managerial, executive, or involves specialized knowledge throughout 
that year; or
    (3) The alien is destined to render services in such a capacity, as 
identified in the petition and in an organization listed in the 
    (f) Former exchange visitor. Former exchange visitors who are 
subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement of INA section 
212(e) are ineligible to apply for visas under INA section 
101(a)(15)(L) until they have fulfilled the residence requirement or 
obtained a waiver of the requirement.

    Dated: January 31, 2012.
Janice L. Jacobs,
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2012-3455 Filed 2-13-12; 8:45 am]