22 CFR § 62.50 - Sanctions.

§ 62.50 Sanctions.

(a) Reasons for sanctions. The Department of State (Department) may impose sanctions against a sponsor upon a finding by its Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation (Office) that the sponsor has:

(1) Violated one or more provisions of this Part;

(2) Evidenced a pattern of failure to comply with one or more provisions of this Part;

(3) Committed 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 conducted 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.

(b) Lesser sanctions.

(1) In order to ensure full compliance with the regulations in this Part, the Department, in its discretion and depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation, may impose any or all of the following sanctions (“lesser sanctions”) on a sponsor upon a finding that the sponsor engaged in any of the acts or omissions set forth in paragraph (a) of this section:

(i) A written reprimand to the sponsor, with a warning that repeated or persistent violations of the regulations in this part may result in suspension or revocation of the sponsor's Exchange Visitor Program designation, or other sanctions as set forth herein;

(ii) A declaration placing the exchange visitor sponsor's program on probation, for a period of time determined by the Department in its discretion, signifying a pattern of violation of regulations such that further violations could lead to suspension or revocation of the sponsor's Exchange Visitor Program designation, or other sanctions as set forth herein;

(iii) A corrective action plan designed to cure the sponsor's violations; or

(iv) Up to a 15 percent (15%) reduction in the authorized number of exchange visitors in the sponsor's program or in the geographic area of its recruitment or activity. If the sponsor continues to violate the regulations in this Part, the Department may impose subsequent additional reductions, in ten-percent (10%) increments, in the authorized number of exchange visitors in the sponsor's program or in the geographic area of its recruitment or activity.

(2) Within ten (10) days after service of the written notice to the sponsor imposing any of the sanctions set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the sponsor may submit to the Office a statement in opposition to or mitigation of the sanction. Such statement may not exceed 20 pages in length, double-spaced and, if appropriate, may include additional documentary material. Sponsors shall include with all documentary material an index of the documents and a summary of the relevance of each document presented. Upon review and consideration of such submission, the Office may, in its discretion, modify, withdraw, or confirm such sanction. All materials the sponsor submits will become a part of the sponsor's file with the Office.

(3) The decision of the Office is the final Department decision with regard to lesser sanctions in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (iv) of this section.

(c) Suspension.

(1) Upon a finding that a sponsor has committed a serious act of omission or commission which has or could have the effect of endangering the health, safety, or welfare of an exchange visitor, or of damaging the national security interests of the United States, the Office may serve the sponsor with written notice of its decision to suspend the designation of the sponsor's program for a period not to exceed one hundred twenty (120) days. Such notice must specify the grounds for the sanction and the effective date thereof, advise the sponsor of its right to oppose the suspension, and identify the procedures for submitting a statement of opposition thereto. Suspension under this paragraph need not be preceded by the imposition of any other sanction or notice.

(2)

(i) Within five (5) days after service of such notice, the sponsor may submit to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs (Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, or PDAS) a statement in opposition to the Office's decision. Such statement may not exceed 20 pages in length, double-spaced and, if appropriate, may include additional documentary material. A sponsor shall include with all documentary material an index of the documents and a summary of the relevance of each document presented. The submission of a statement in opposition to the Office's decision will not serve to stay the effective date of the suspension.

(ii) Within five (5) days after receipt of, and upon consideration of, such opposition, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary shall confirm, modify, or withdraw the suspension by serving the sponsor with a written decision. Such decision must specify the grounds therefore, and advise the sponsor of the procedures for requesting review of the decision.

(iii) All materials the sponsor submits will become a part of the sponsor's file with the Office.

(3) The procedures for review of the decision of the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary are set forth in paragraphs (d)(3) and (4), (g), and (h) of this section, except that the submission of a request for review will not serve to stay the suspension.

(d) Revocation of designation.

(1) Upon a finding of any act or omission set forth at paragraph (a) of this section, the Office may serve a sponsor with not less than thirty (30) days' written notice of its intent to revoke the sponsor's Exchange Visitor Program designation. Such notice must specify the grounds for the proposed sanction and its effective date, advise the sponsor of its right to oppose the proposed sanction, and identify the procedures for submitting a statement of opposition thereto. Revocation of designation under this paragraph need not be preceded by the imposition of any other sanction or notice.

(2)

(i) Within ten (10) days after service of such written notice of intent to revoke designation, the sponsor may submit to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary a statement in opposition to or mitigation of the proposed sanction, which may include a request for a meeting.

(ii) The submission of such statement will serve to stay the effective date of the proposed sanction pending the decision of the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary.

(iii) The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary shall provide a copy of the statement in opposition to or mitigation of the proposed sanction to the Office. The Office shall submit a statement in response, and shall provide the sponsor with a copy thereof.

(iv) A statement in opposition to or mitigation of the proposed sanction, or statement in response thereto, may not exceed 25 pages in length, double-spaced and, if appropriate, may include additional documentary material. Any additional documentary material may include an index of the documents and a summary of the relevance of each document presented.

(v) Upon consideration of such statements, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary shall modify, withdraw, or confirm the proposed sanction by serving the sponsor with a written decision. Such decision shall specify the grounds therefor, identify its effective date, advise the sponsor of its right to request a review, and identify the procedures for requesting such review.

(vi) All materials the sponsor submits will become a part of the sponsor's file with the Office.

(3) Within ten (10) days after service of such written notice of the decision of the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, the sponsor may submit a request for review with the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. The submission of such request for review will serve to stay the effective date of the decision pending the outcome of the review.

(4) Within ten (10) days after receipt of such request for review, the Department shall designate a panel of three Review Officers pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section, and the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary shall forward to each panel member all notices, statements, and decisions submitted or provided pursuant to the preceding paragraphs of paragraph (d) of this section. Thereafter, the review will be conducted pursuant to paragraphs (g) and (h) of this section.

(e) Denial of application for redesignation. Upon a finding of any act or omission set forth at paragraph (a) of this section, the Office may serve a sponsor with not less than thirty (30) days' written notice of its intent to deny the sponsor's application for redesignation. Such notice must specify the grounds for the proposed sanction and its effective date, advise the sponsor of its right to oppose the proposed sanction, and identify the procedures for submitting a statement of opposition thereto. Denial of redesignation under this section need not be preceded by the imposition of any other sanction or notice. The procedures for opposing a proposed denial of redesignation are set forth in paragraphs (d)(2), (d)(3), (d)(4), (g), and (h) of this section.

(f) Responsible officers. The Office may direct a sponsor to suspend or revoke the appointment of a responsible officer or alternate responsible officer for any of the reasons set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. The procedures for suspending or revoking a responsible officer or alternate responsible officer are set forth at paragraphs (d), (g), and (h) of this section.

(g) Review officers. A panel of three Review Officers shall hear a sponsor's request for review pursuant to paragraphs (c), (d), (e), and (f) of this section. The Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs shall designate one senior official from an office reporting to him/her, other than from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, as a member of the Panel. The Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs and the Legal Adviser shall each designate one senior official from their bureaus as members of the Panel.

(h) Review. The Review Officers may affirm, modify, or reverse the sanction imposed by the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. The following procedures shall apply to the review:

(1) Upon its designation, the panel of Review Officers shall promptly notify the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and the sponsor in writing of the identity of the Review Officers and the address to which all communications with the Review Officers shall be directed.

(2) Within fifteen (15) days after service of such notice, the sponsor may submit to the Review Officers four (4) copies of a statement identifying the grounds on which the sponsor asserts that the decision of the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary should be reversed or modified. Any such statement may not exceed 25 pages in length, double-spaced; and any attachments thereto shall not exceed 50 pages. A sponsor shall include with all attachments an index of the documents and a summary of the relevance of each document presented. The Review Officers shall transmit one (1) copy of any such statement to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, who shall, within fifteen (15) days after receipt of such statement, submit four (4) copies of a statement in response. Any such statement may not exceed 25 pages in length, double-spaced; and any attachments thereto shall not exceed 50 pages. The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary shall include with all attachments an index of the documents and a summary of the relevance of each document presented. The Review Officers shall transmit one (1) copy of any such statement to the sponsor. No other submissions may be made unless specifically authorized by the Review Officers.

(3) If the Review Officers determine, in their sole discretion, that a meeting for the purpose of clarification of the written submissions should be held, they shall schedule a meeting to be held within twenty (20) days after the receipt of the last written submission. The meeting will be limited to no more than two (2) hours. The purpose of the meeting will be limited to the clarification of the written submissions. No transcript may be taken and no evidence, either through documents or by witnesses, will be received. The sponsor and the representative of the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary may attend the meeting on their own behalf and may be accompanied by counsel.

(4) Following the conclusion of the meeting, or the submission of the last written submission if no meeting is held, the Review Officers shall promptly review the submissions of the sponsor and the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, and shall issue a signed written decision within thirty (30) days, stating the basis for their decision. A copy of the decision will be delivered to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and the sponsor.

(5) If the Review Officers decide to affirm or modify the sanction, a copy of their decision shall also be delivered to the Department of Homeland Security and to the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Department of State. The Office, at its discretion, may further distribute the decision.

(6) Unless otherwise indicated, the sanction, if affirmed or modified, is effective as of the date of the Review Officers' written decision, except in the case of suspension of program designation, which is effective as of the date specified pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.

(i) Effect of suspension, revocation, or denial of redesignation. A sponsor against which an order of suspension, revocation, or denial of redesignation has become effective may not thereafter issue any Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (Form DS-2019) or advertise, recruit for, or otherwise promote its program. Under no circumstances shall the sponsor facilitate the entry of an exchange visitor into the United States. An order of suspension, revocation, or denial of redesignation will not in any way diminish or restrict the sponsor's legal or financial responsibilities to existing program applicants or participants.

(j) Miscellaneous -

(1) Computation of time. In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these regulations, the day of the act or event from which the designated period of time begins to run is not included. The last day of the period so computed is included unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a Federal legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is not one of the aforementioned days. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is fewer than eleven (11) days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, or Federal legal holidays are excluded in the computation.

(2) Service of notice to sponsor. Service of notice to a sponsor pursuant to this section may be accomplished through written notice by mail, delivery, or facsimile, upon the president, chief executive officer, managing director, General Counsel, responsible officer, or alternate responsible officer of the sponsor.

[72 FR 72247, Dec. 20, 2007]