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H.Doc.105-92 UPDATED REPORT ON THE EMIGRATION LAWS AND POLICIES OF ARMENIA, ...


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105th Congress, 1st Session  - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 105-91


 
    EXTENSION OF WAIVER AUTHORITY FOR ALBANIA, BELARUS, KAZAKSTAN, 
         KYRGYZSTAN, TAJIKISTAN, TURKMENISTAN, AND UZBEKISTAN

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  FROM

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

 NOTIFICATION OF HIS DETERMINATION THAT A WAIVER OF THE APPLICATION OF 
 SUBSECTIONS (a) AND (b) OF SECTION 402 OF THE TRADE ACT OF 1974 WITH 
    RESPECT TO ALBANIA, BELARUS, KAZAKSTAN, KYRGYZSTAN, TAJIKISTAN, 
TURKMENISTAN, AND UZBEKISTAN WILL SUBSTANTIALLY PROMOTE THE OBJECTIVES 
         OF SECTION 402, PURSUANT TO 19 U.S.C. 2432(c) AND (d)

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


    June 3, 1997.--Message and accompanying papers referred to the 
         Committee on Ways and Means and ordered to be printed


To the Congress of the United States:
    I hereby transmit the document referred to in subsection 
402(d)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the ``Act''), 
with respect to a further 12-month extension of authority to 
waive subsections (a) and (b) of section 402 of the Act. This 
document constitutes my recommendation to continue in effect 
this waiver authority for a further 12-month period, and 
includes my reasons for determining that continuation of the 
waiver authority and waivers currently in effect for Albania, 
Belarus, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and 
Uzbekistan will substantially promote the objectives of section 
402 of the Act. I have submitted a separate report with respect 
to the People's Republic of China.

                                                William J. Clinton.

    The White House, June 3, 1997.
  Report to Congress Concerning the Extension of Waiver Authority for 
 Albania, Belarus, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and 
                               Uzbekistan

    Pursuant to subsection 402(d)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974, 
as amended (the ``Act''), I hereby recommend further extension 
of the waiver authority granted by subsection 402(c) of the Act 
for twelve months. I have determined that such extension will 
substantially promote the objectives of section 402 of the Act, 
and that continuation of the waivers currently applicable to 
Albania, Belarus, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, 
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will also substantially promote the 
objectives of section 402 of the Act. My determination is 
attached and is incorporated herein.
    The waiver authority conferred by section 402 of the Act 
has permitted the United States to conclude and maintain in 
force bilateral commercial agreements with these countries. The 
reciprocal Most-Favored-Nation (MFN) trade treatment and other 
provisions of these agreements enhance the ability of U.S. 
companies to compete in the relevant markets. Waiver authority 
has also allowed U.S. Government credit and investment 
guarantees to support U.S. trade and investment activities in 
some of these countries. These considerations clearly warrant 
this renewal of the waiver authority.
    I believe that continuing the current waivers applicable to 
the following countries will substantially promote the 
objectives of section 402 of the Act.
    Albania: Regulations on emigration have been liberalized. 
Passports are available to all citizens, and the practice of 
limiting them to specific countries of destination was 
abandoned in 1991.
    Belarus: A law on entry and exit came into effect on 
January 1, 1994 that abolishes the former Soviet requirement of 
mandatory official permission for each trip abroad by 
authorizing Belarusians to receive passports containing 
``global'' exit visas good for from one to five years and valid 
for travel to all countries. This is still a two-step process: 
first a passport must be obtained, then an exit visa. In 
November 1996, Belarus adopted a new constitution that 
specifically grants citizens the right to leave and return as 
they wish. Issuance of new passports began in August 1993, and 
applicants generally receive a passport and exit visa within 2-
3 months of application. Reports to the U.S. Embassy in Minsk 
indicate that the widespread practice of petty bribery often 
accelerates or delays the processing period.
    Soviet-era legislation restricting emigration by those with 
access to ``state secrets'' remains in force. However, citizens 
denied permission to emigrate have the right to re-apply for 
emigration after six months, except for those who had access to 
state secrets, who are informed at the time of denial when they 
may reapply (usually in two years). Neither the Belarusian 
League for Human Rights nor the Belarusian National Jewish 
Council report excessive restrictions on the ability of 
citizens to emigrate. During 1996, no citizen was denied 
permission to emigrate.
    Kazakstan: The constitution of Kazakstan provides for the 
right to emigrate. The right is respected in practice. However, 
all intending emigrants must obtain an exit visa from the 
government before they are allowed to emigrate. Exit visas are 
only issued after a number of bureaucratic requirements have 
been met. For example, close relatives with a claim to support 
from the applicant must give their concurrence. Intending 
emigrants must also obtain evidence that they have no 
outstanding financial obligations before the government will 
issue an exit visa. There have been no reports of Kazakstani 
citizens being denied permission to emigrate.
    Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyzstan does not yet have a law on 
emigration. The government currently is following procedures as 
outlined in a draft law on emigration, which the Parliament is 
expected to pass soon. This draft law is based on the 
emigration practices of the Soviet era. According to the draft 
law and current practice, citizens who wish to emigrate must 
present an application to the Office of Visa and Registration 
(OVIR). This application is filed on behalf of the intending 
emigrant by his/her parents or spouse and states that the 
person has the permission of the next-of-kin to emigrate. The 
applicant also must present legal documents concerning marital 
status, outstanding debts, and other facts. The applicant 
should have an invitation from a relative living abroad. Once 
the appropriate documents have been filed with OVIR, the 
applicant must pay 750 soms, about U.S. $40.
    Reports from OVIR indicate that less than 10 percent of 
those who applied for emigration in 1996 were refused. Those 
refusals were based on the fact that the applicant or the 
inviting party had illegally emigrated or significantly over-
stayed a tourist visa.
    Kyrgyzstan has an agreement with other members of the 
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to ease emigration. 
This agreement allows for Kyrgyz citizens to move to any member 
of the CIS without having to go through the above 
mentionedprocess with OVIR. These citizens may simply move to another 
CIS country, then check in with the local OVIR office of that country 
and the Kyrgyz Embassy. The citizen will be expected to renounce his/
her citizenship upon establishing residence in another country.
    Tajikistan: The November 1994 constitution guarantees the 
right to emigrate. However, since no new legislation has been 
adopted on emigration since independence, the 1991 Soviet law 
remains in effect. In practice, the government has not raised 
any significant obstacles to emigration. Persons who wish to 
migrate within the former Soviet Union must simply alert the 
Ministry of Internal Affairs to their departure. Persons 
wishing to migrate beyond the borders of the former Soviet 
Union must receive the approval of the relevant country's 
embassy prior to the issuance of an international passport. The 
charge for Tajikistan citizens to obtain an international 
passport is around U.S. $15, and an exit visa for the purpose 
of emigration costs around U.S. $100.
    Over 90 percent of Tajikistan's 20,000-strong Jewish 
community are estimated to have emigrated since 1990, mostly, 
to Israel. As a result of conflict, instability and a depressed 
economy, an estimated 150,000 ethnic Russians or Russian-
speakers and 9,000 ethnic Germans left Tajikistan in 1992 and 
1993.
    Turkmenistan: The Turkman Constitution of 1994 guarantees 
the right of citizens of Turkmenistan to emigrate, and Turkmen 
citizens are permitted to emigrate without undue restriction. 
Many Turkmen citizens have already emigrated to other 
countries, including other former Soviet Republics and Israel.
    Turkmen citizens who wish to emigrate must obtain 
permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Required 
documents are an application, invitation from the country of 
intended travel, evidence of freedom from debts and financial 
obligations, and either written consent from parents or consent 
specified in parents' death certificates. If the applicant is 
divorced, and either taking or leaving a child, an affidavit 
from the former spouse consenting to emigration is also 
required. Those with military obligations must de-register with 
the Ministry of Defense.
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is legally mandated to 
process the application and documents for emigration within 
three months. The fees for Turkmen passports and exit visas are 
reasonable and denials for permission to emigrate have been 
rare. Prior to emigration, Turkmen citizens must submit their 
internal passports to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Russia 
and Turkmenistan have a bilateral agreement giving favorable 
treatment to citizens emigrating to the other country. For 
example, exit visas are waived, they have the right to sell 
their property privately, and customs taxes are reduced.
    Uzbekistan: The constitution of Uzbekistan guarantees 
citizens free movement across the country's borders, and this 
right is generally respected in practice. Passports are 
generally available to all citizens and are not limited by 
country of destination. Exit permission is required, but the 
process has been vastly simplified, and permission is valid for 
multiple exits within two years. Potential emigrants who can 
find a host country willing to accept them are able to leave 
the country. Since independence, several hundred thousand 
people (chiefly ethnic Russians, but also Jews, Tatars, and 
Germans) have emigrated. Although possession of state secrets 
technically is still a ground for refusal of exit permission 
under the law, embassies of major western emigration 
destinations (United States, Israel, Germany) report no 
instances of applicants being denied permission to emigrate. 
Fees associated with emigration are not excessive.
    I have concluded that continuing waivers under Section 402 
of the Act in effect for Albania, Belarus, Kazakstan, 
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will help 
preserve the gains already achieved on freedom of emigration 
and encourage further progress.


                  Presidential Determination No. 97-28

                                           The White House,
                                          Washington, June 3, 1997.
Memorandum for the Secretary of State
Subject: Presidential Determination Under Subsection 402(d)(1) of the 
        Trade Act of 1974, as Amended--Continuation of Waiver Authority

    Pursuant to subsection 402(d)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974, 
as amended (the ``Act''), I determine that the further 
extension of the waiver authority granted by subsection 402(c) 
of the Act will substantially promote the objectives of section 
402 of the Act. I further determine that the continuation of 
the waivers applicable to Albania, Belarus, Kazakstan, 
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan will 
substantially promote the objectives of section 402 of the Act.
    You are authorized and directed to publish this 
determination in the Federal Register.

                                                William J. Clinton.

                                <greek-d>


Pages: 1

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