[Federal Register: August 7, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 152)]
[Rules and Regulations]               

UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY
22 CFR Part 514
 
Exchange Visitor Program

AGENCY: United States Information Agency.

ACTION: Statement of Policy.

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SUMMARY: The Agency hereby announces its policy regarding requests for 
waiver of the two-year home country physical presence requirement set 
forth in Section 1182(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act based 
upon the applicant's assertion that fulfillment of such requirement is 
not possible due to the loss of home country citizenship.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This policy statement is effective August 7, 1998.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Stanley S. Colvin, Assistant General Counsel,
United States Information Agency, 301 4th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20547; telephone, (202) 619-
6531.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Director of the United States 
Information Agency is required by Section 1182(e) of the Immigration 
and Nationality Act to make recommendations to the Attorney General 
regarding the grant or denial of the two-year home country physical 
presence requirement imposed upon certain aliens who have entered the 
United States on a J visa or subsequently acquired such nonimmigrant 
status. Aliens who have received government funds, pursued graduate 
medical education or training, or who have participated in an activity 
involving skills identified of interest to the government of his or her 
home country are subject to the two-year home country physical presence 
requirement, viz., "until it is established that such person has 
resided and been physically present in the country of his nationality 
or his last residence for an aggregate of at least two years following 
departure from the United States."  If subject, an alien must fulfill 
this requirement or have it waived before he or she is eligible to 
adjust to H, L, or legal permanent resident status.

    Recommendations regarding the grant or denial of a waiver request 
are based upon a review of the unique program, policy, and foreign 
relations aspects presented by each individual request. Recently, the 
Agency has been approached and requested to recognize a theory that 
certain aliens subject to the return home requirement should be granted 
a waiver because their home country has revoked, by operation of law, 
their citizenship due to the acquisition of citizenship or legal 
permanent residence in another country. This theory suggests that the 
section 1182(e) requirement should be waived because the loss of 
citizenship has made it impossible for the alien to fulfill this 
requirement. Having reviewed this matter at length, the Agency cannot 
adopt this theory as a matter of policy and will not recommend the 
grant of a waiver based solely upon the loss of home country 
citizenship. In many cases, other means of fulfillment, such as the 
utilization of a nonimmigrant visa for entry into the home country are 
available.

    The Agency will review, on a case by case basis, those 
extraordinarily few instances where fulfillment of the Section 1182(e) 
requirement is impossible due to facts totally beyond the control of 
the waiver applicant and which were not the predictable consequences of 
action on the part of the applicant. Compelling and probative evidence 
of such impossibility of performance, furnished by the alien, is 
necessarily a prerequisite to Agency review. Such evidence may be, for 
example, proof of denial of a request for a nonimmigrant visa from the 
home country or denial of a request to restore home country 
citizenship.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 514

    Cultural exchange programs.

    Dated: July 30, 1998.

Les Jin,
General Counsel.

[FR Doc. 98-21137 Filed 8-6-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8230-01-M