72 Fed. Reg. 72245 (December 20, 2007)

The Department of State (DOS) Exchange Visitor Program regulations on program sanctions, terminations, and revocations will change effective January 22, 2008. [22 C.F.R. Part 62, Subpart D (Sanctions) and 22 C.F.R. Part 62, Subpart E (Termination and Revocation of Programs)].

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Here are the rule's enumerated bases for sanctions:

  1. Violating one or more provisions of the Exchange Visitor regulations;
  2. Evidencing a pattern of failure to comply with one or more provisions of the Exchange Visitor regulations;
  3. Committing an act of omission or commission, which has or could have the effect of endangering the health, safety, or welfare of an exchange visitor; or
  4. Otherwise conducting its program in such a way as to undermine the foreign policy objectives of the United States, compromise the national security interests of the United States, or bring the Department or the Exchange Visitor Program into notoriety or disrepute.

Changes to the sanctions scheme itself include:

  • DOS no longer has to find that alleged violations of the Exchange Visitor regulations are willful or negligent before imposing sanctions. A sponsor being sanctioned can submit a statement in opposition to or mitigation of the proposed sanction, where the sponsor can explain the circumstances of the alleged violation, and argue that a lesser sanction, or no sanction at all, would be appropriate in view of those circumstances. Also, the review process available for significant sanctions provides a second opportunity for the sponsor to make its case before a panel of three Review Officers not connected with the Exchange Visitor Program. The panel would conduct a ‘‘paper review’’ in lieu of a trial-type hearing.
  • Providing for program termination in the case of failure to file an annual management audit, in program categories requiring such audits.
  • Providing for termination or denial of redesignation for an entire class of designated programs, if DOS determines that they compromise the national security of the United States, or no longer further DOS's public diplomacy mission.


Background note:  On November 29, 2007, the Department of State withdrew a previous version of the final Exchange Visitor Program Sanctions and Terminations rule that they had published at 72 Fed. Reg. 62112 on November 2, 2007, with a December 3, 2007 effective date. The withdrawal notice in the Federal Register stated that "This rule is being withdrawn because it was submitted to OMB for formal significance designation; however, it was published prior to that determination being made. Since OMB's designation was that it is significant and they would like to formally review it, OMB has requested the rule to be withdrawn in its entirety." DOS withdrew the rule, and resubmitted it to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for further review. The OMB completed that review, and DOS has now republished it with an effective date of January 22, 2008. Apart from some minor style changes to how internal cross-references are cited, the republished rule is identical to the withdrawn rule.