A-47737, MARCH 31, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 559

A-47737: Mar 31, 1933

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PROVIDING THAT A FEE OF $9 SHALL BE COLLECTED AND PAID "FOR EACH VISA OF THE PASSPORT OF AN ALIEN" THE TRANSFER OF AN UNEXPIRED VISA FROM AN EXPIRING PASSPORT TO A NEW PASSPORT WITHOUT THE PAYMENT OF THE FEE PRESCRIBED IS NOT AUTHORIZED. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4. ALTHOUGH UNDER THE PRESENT REGULATIONS A PASSPORT VISA IS ISSUED VALID FOR TWELVE MONTHS FROM THE DATE OF ISSUANCE. THE DEPARTMENT FOR REASONS OF RECIPROCITY IS CONSIDERING AMENDING THE REGULATIONS TO PROVIDE FOR THE TRANSFER OF VISAS. THE DEPARTMENT BELIEVES THERE IS NOTHING IN THE SECTION OF LAW AS QUOTED ABOVE WHICH WOULD PROHIBIT THE TRANSFER OF A VISA WITHOUT CHARGE.

A-47737, MARCH 31, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 559

PASSPORTS - VISA FEES UNDER SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920, 41 STAT. 750, PROVIDING THAT A FEE OF $9 SHALL BE COLLECTED AND PAID "FOR EACH VISA OF THE PASSPORT OF AN ALIEN" THE TRANSFER OF AN UNEXPIRED VISA FROM AN EXPIRING PASSPORT TO A NEW PASSPORT WITHOUT THE PAYMENT OF THE FEE PRESCRIBED IS NOT AUTHORIZED, THE VISA OF THE NEW PASSPORT, WHETHER IT BE BY TRANSFER OF AN OLD VISA OR THE PLACING THEREON OF A NEW VISA, CONSTITUTING A VISA WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LAW REQUIRING THE PAYMENT OF THE VISA FEE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, MARCH 31, 1933:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 6, 1933 (REFERENCE FA 811.111 NIEVES, MRS. JUSTINA), AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920 (CONTAINED IN NOTE 97 SECTION 361 OF THE CONSULAR REGULATIONS), PROVIDING FOR THE COLLECTION OF PASSPORT VISA FEES, WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 2. FROM AND AFTER THE 1ST DAY OF JULY, 1920, THERE SHALL BE COLLECTED AND PAID INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES QUARTERLY A FEE OF $1 FOR EXECUTING EACH APPLICATION OF AN ALIEN FOR A VISA AND $9 FOR EACH VISA OF THE PASSPORT OF AN ALIEN: PROVIDED, THAT NO FEE SHALL BE COLLECTED FROM ANY OFFICER OF ANY FOREIGN GOVERNMENT, OR MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, ITS ARMED FORCES, OR OF ANY STATE, DISTRICT, OR MUNICIPALITY THEREOF, TRAVELING TO OR THROUGH THE UNITED STATES, OR OF ANY SOLDIERS COMING WITHIN THE TERMS OF THE PUBLIC RESOLUTION APPROVED OCTOBER 19, 1918 (40 STAT. L., PT. 1, P. 1014).'

ALTHOUGH UNDER THE PRESENT REGULATIONS A PASSPORT VISA IS ISSUED VALID FOR TWELVE MONTHS FROM THE DATE OF ISSUANCE, PROVIDED THE PASSPORT ITSELF CONTINUES TO BE VALID FOR SUCH PERIOD, SO THAT THE VISA AUTOMATICALLY EXPIRES WHEN THE PASSPORT CEASES TO BE VALID, THE DEPARTMENT FOR REASONS OF RECIPROCITY IS CONSIDERING AMENDING THE REGULATIONS TO PROVIDE FOR THE TRANSFER OF VISAS, WITHOUT ADDITIONAL FEE, FROM EXPIRED PASSPORTS TO NEW PASSPORTS, THE PERIOD OF VALIDITY OF THE VISA TO REMAIN AS ON THE ORIGINAL VISA.

AS THE TRANSFER OF A VISA CONFERS NO ADDITIONAL PRIVILEGE TO THE HOLDER OF THE PASSPORT OTHER THAN THAT COVERED BY THE ORIGINAL FEE, THE DEPARTMENT BELIEVES THERE IS NOTHING IN THE SECTION OF LAW AS QUOTED ABOVE WHICH WOULD PROHIBIT THE TRANSFER OF A VISA WITHOUT CHARGE.

BEFORE CONTINUING, HOWEVER, WITH THE DETAILS INVOLVED IN THE PROPOSED CHANGE OF PROCEDURE, THE DEPARTMENT WILL APPRECIATE BEING INFORMED OF YOUR CONCURRENCE WITH THIS VIEW.

THE SPECIFIC PROVISION IN THE LAW QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER IS THAT A FEE OF $9 SHALL BE COLLECTED AND PAID "FOR EACH VISA OF THE PASSPORT OF AN ALIEN.' IT IS READILY APPARENT THAT WHEN A PASSPORT EXPIRES AND A NEW ONE IS ISSUED THE NEW PASSPORT REQUIRES A NEW VISA FOR ITS VALIDITY. WHETHER THIS BE TREATED AS A TRANSFER OF THE VISA FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW PASSPORT WOULD APPEAR TO BE IMMATERIAL, AS IN EITHER CASE THERE WOULD BE A VISA WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT, SUPRA, REQUIRING THE PAYMENT OF THE VISA FEE. THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT AN ADDITIONAL PRIVILEGE IS CONFERRED IS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION.

ACCORDINGLY, IN SPECIFIC ANSWER TO THE QUESTION SUBMITTED I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE LAW FOR A TRANSFER OF THE VISA FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW PASSPORT WITHOUT REQUIRING THE PAYMENT OF THE FEE REQUIRED BY THE ACT, SUPRA. ..END :