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Pub.L. 106-397 To establish procedures governing the responsibilities of court- appointed receivers who administer departments, offices, and agencies of the District of Columbia government. <> ...


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[[Page 114 STAT. 1637]]

Public Law 106-396
106th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to make improvements to, 
 and permanently authorize, the visa waiver pilot program under section 
        217 of such Act. <<NOTE: Oct. 30, 2000 -  [H.R. 3767]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Visa Waiver 
Permanent Program Act.>> 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. <<NOTE: 8 USC 1101 note.>> 

    This Act may be cited as the ``Visa Waiver Permanent Program Act''.

                TITLE I--PERMANENT PROGRAM AUTHORIZATION

SEC. 101. ELIMINATION OF PILOT PROGRAM STATUS.

    (a) In General.--Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
(8 U.S.C. 1187) is amended--
            (1) in the section heading, by striking ``pilot'';
            (2) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) in the subsection heading, by striking 
                ``Pilot'';
                    (B) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by 
                striking ``pilot'' both places it appears;
                    (C) in paragraph (1), by striking ``pilot program 
                period (as defined in subsection (e))'' and inserting 
                ``program''; and
                    (D) in paragraph (2), in the paragraph heading, by 
                striking ``pilot'';
            (3) in subsection (b), in the matter preceding paragraph 
        (1), by striking ``pilot'';
            (4) in subsection (c)--
                    (A) in the subsection heading, by striking 
                ``Pilot'';
                    (B) in paragraph (1), by striking ``pilot'';
                    (C) in paragraph (2)--
                          (i) by striking ``subsection (g)'' and 
                      inserting ``subsection (f)''; and
                          (ii) by striking ``pilot''; and
                    (D) in paragraph (3)--
                          (i) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), 
                      by striking ``(within the pilot program period)'';
                          (ii) in subparagraph (A), in the matter 
                      preceding clause (i), by striking ``pilot'' both 
                      places it appears; and
                          (iii) in subparagraph (B), by striking 
                      ``pilot'';

[[Page 114 STAT. 1638]]

            (5) in subsection (e)(1)--
                    (A) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by 
                striking ``pilot''; and
                    (B) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``pilot'';
            (6) by striking subsection (f) and redesignating subsection 
        (g) as subsection (f); and
            (7) in subsection (f) (as so redesignated)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1)(A) by striking ``pilot'';
                    (B) in paragraph (1)(C), by striking ``pilot'';
                    (C) in paragraph (2)(A), by striking ``pilot'' both 
                places it appears;
                    (D) in paragraph (3), by striking ``pilot''; and
                    (E) in paragraph (4)(A), by striking ``pilot''.

    (b) Conforming Amendments.--
            (1) Documentation requirements.--Clause (iv) of section 
        212(a)(7)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
        1182(a)(7)(B)(iv)) is amended--
                    (A) in the clause heading, by striking ``pilot''; 
                and
                    (B) by striking ``pilot''.
            (2) Table of contents.--The table of contents for the 
        Immigration and Nationality Act is amended, in the item relating 
        to section 217, by striking ``pilot''.

                     TITLE II--PROGRAM IMPROVEMENTS

SEC. 201. EXTENSION OF RECIPROCAL PRIVILEGES.

    Section 217(a)(2)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
U.S.C. 1187(a)(2)(A)) is amended by inserting ``, either on its own or 
in conjunction with one or more other countries that are described in 
subparagraph (B) and that have established with it a common area for 
immigration admissions,'' after ``to extend)''.

SEC. 202. MACHINE READABLE PASSPORT PROGRAM.

    (a) Requirement on Alien.--Section 217(a) of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(a)) is amended--
            (1) by redesignating paragraphs (3) through (7) as 
        paragraphs (4) through (8), respectively; and
            (2) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:
            ``(3) Machine readable passport.--On and after October 1, 
        2007, the alien at the time of application for admission is in 
        possession of a valid unexpired machine-readable passport that 
        satisfies the internationally accepted standard for machine 
        readability.''.

    (b) Requirement on Country.--Section 217(c)(2)(B) of the Immigration 
and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)(2)(B)) is amended to read as 
follows:
                    ``(B) Machine readable passport program.--
                          ``(i) In general.--Subject to clause (ii), the 
                      government of the country certifies that it issues 
                      to its citizens machine-readable passports that 
                      satisfy the internationally accepted standard for 
                      machine readability.
                          ``(ii) Deadline for compliance for certain 
                      countries.--In the case of a country designated as 
                      a program country under this subsection prior to 
                      May 1, 2000, as a condition on the continuation of 
                      that designation, the country--

[[Page 114 STAT. 1639]]

                                    ``(I) shall certify, not later than 
                                October 1, 2000, that it has a program 
                                to issue machine-readable passports to 
                                its citizens not later than October 1, 
                                2003; and
                                    ``(II) shall satisfy the requirement 
                                of clause (i) not later than October 1, 
                                2003.''.

SEC. 203. DENIAL OF PROGRAM WAIVER BASED ON GROUND OF INADMISSIBILITY.

    (a) In General.--Section 217(a) of the Immigration and Nationality 
Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(a)), as amended by section 202, is further amended by 
adding at the end the following:
            ``(9) Automated system check.--The identity of the alien has 
        been checked using an automated electronic database containing 
        information about the inadmissibility of aliens to uncover any 
        grounds on which the alien may be inadmissible to the United 
        States, and no such ground has been found.''.

    (b) Visa Application Sole Method To Dispute Denials of Waiver Based 
on Ground of Inadmissibility.--Section 217 of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187), as amended by section 101(a)(6) of this 
Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(g) Visa Application Sole Method To Dispute Denial of Waiver Based 
on a Ground of Inadmissibility.--In the case of an alien denied a waiver 
under the program by reason of a ground of inadmissibility described in 
section 212(a) that is discovered at the time of the alien's application 
for the waiver or through the use of an automated electronic database 
required under subsection (a)(9), the alien may apply for a visa at an 
appropriate consular office outside the United States. There shall be no 
other means of administrative or judicial review of such a denial, and 
no court or person otherwise shall have jurisdiction to consider any 
claim attacking the validity of such a denial.''.

SEC. 204. EVALUATION OF EFFECT OF COUNTRY'S PARTICIPATION ON LAW 
            ENFORCEMENT AND SECURITY.

    (a) Initial Designation.--Section 217(c)(2)(C) of the Immigration 
and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)(2)(C)) is amended to read as 
follows:
                    ``(C) Law enforcement and security interests.--The 
                Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of 
                State--
                          ``(i) evaluates the effect that the country's 
                      designation would have on the law enforcement and 
                      security interests of the United States (including 
                      the interest in enforcement of the immigration 
                      laws of the United States and the existence and 
                      effectiveness of its agreements and procedures for 
                      extraditing to the United States individuals, 
                      including its own nationals, who commit crimes 
                      that violate United States law);
                          ``(ii) determines that such interests would 
                      not be compromised by the designation of the 
                      country; and
                          ``(iii) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  submits a written 
                      report to the Committee on the Judiciary and the 
                      Committee on International Relations of the House 
                      of Representatives and the Committee on the 
                      Judiciary and the Committee on Foreign

[[Page 114 STAT. 1640]]

                      Relations of the Senate regarding the country's 
                      qualification for designation that includes an 
                      explanation of such determination.''.

    (b) Continuation of Designation.--Section 217(c) of the Immigration 
and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)) is amended by adding at the end 
the following:
            ``(5) Written reports on continuing qualification; 
        designation terminations.--
                    ``(A) Periodic evaluations.--
                          ``(i) In general.--The Attorney General, in 
                      consultation with the Secretary of State, 
                      periodically (but not less than once every 5 
                      years)--
                                    ``(I) shall evaluate the effect of 
                                each program country's continued 
                                designation on the law enforcement and 
                                security interests of the United States 
                                (including the interest in enforcement 
                                of the immigration laws of the United 
                                States and the existence and 
                                effectiveness of its agreements and 
                                procedures for extraditing to the United 
                                States individuals, including its own 
                                nationals, who commit crimes that 
                                violate United States law);
                                    ``(II) shall determine, based upon 
                                the evaluation in subclause (I), whether 
                                any such designation ought to be 
                                continued or terminated under subsection 
                                (d); and
                                    ``(III) shall submit a written 
                                report to the Committee on the Judiciary 
                                and the Committee on International 
                                Relations of the House of 
                                Representatives and the Committee on the 
                                Judiciary and the Committee on Foreign 
                                Relations of the Senate regarding the 
                                continuation or termination of the 
                                country's designation that includes an 
                                explanation of such determination and 
                                the effects described in subclause (I).
                          ``(ii) Effective date.--A termination of the 
                      designation of a country under this subparagraph 
                      shall take effect on the date determined by the 
                      Attorney General, in consultation with the 
                      Secretary of State.
                          ``(iii) Redesignation.--In the case of a 
                      termination under this subparagraph, the Attorney 
                      General shall redesignate the country as a program 
                      country, without regard to subsection (f) or 
                      paragraph (2) or (3), when the Attorney General, 
                      in consultation with the Secretary of State, 
                      determines that all causes of the termination have 
                      been eliminated.
                    ``(B) Emergency termination.--
                          ``(i) In general.--In the case of a program 
                      country in which an emergency occurs that the 
                      Attorney General, in consultation with the 
                      Secretary of State, determines threatens the law 
                      enforcement or security interests of the United 
                      States (including the interest in enforcement of 
                      the immigration laws of the United States), the 
                      Attorney General shall immediately terminate the 
                      designation of the country as a program country.
                          ``(ii) Definition.--For purposes of clause 
                      (i), the term `emergency' means--

[[Page 114 STAT. 1641]]

                                    ``(I) the overthrow of a 
                                democratically elected government;
                                    ``(II) war (including undeclared 
                                war, civil war, or other military 
                                activity) on the territory of the 
                                program country;
                                    ``(III) a severe breakdown in law 
                                and order affecting a significant 
                                portion of the program country's 
                                territory;
                                    ``(IV) a severe economic collapse in 
                                the program country; or
                                    ``(V) any other extraordinary event 
                                in the program country that threatens 
                                the law enforcement or security 
                                interests of the United States 
                                (including the interest in enforcement 
                                of the immigration laws of the United 
                                States) and where the country's 
                                participation in the program could 
                                contribute to that threat.
                          ``(iii) Redesignation.--The Attorney General 
                      may redesignate the country as a program country, 
                      without regard to subsection (f) or paragraph (2) 
                      or (3), when the Attorney General, in consultation 
                      with the Secretary of State, determines that--
                                    ``(I) at least 6 months have elapsed 
                                since the effective date of the 
                                termination;
                                    ``(II) the emergency that caused the 
                                termination has ended; and
                                    ``(III) the average number of 
                                refusals of nonimmigrant visitor visas 
                                for nationals of that country during the 
                                period of termination under this 
                                subparagraph was less than 3.0 percent 
                                of the total number of nonimmigrant 
                                visitor visas for nationals of that 

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