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Recent Rules Activity

Listing of the recent rule activity of the Department from the Federal Register.

What is the rulemaking process?

After Congressional bills become laws, federal agencies are responsible for putting those laws into actions, usually through regulations. This process may include the following steps:

  1. An agency initiates a rulemaking activity, and adds an entry to its submission to the semi-annual Unified Agenda of Regulatory and De-regulatory Actions
  2. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review the rule to determine whether the rule is non-significant or significant under Executive Order 12866; it will also determine if the rule is “major” under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
  3. The “major” designation triggers a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and a delayed effective date, and Congress may consider whether it will pass a resolution of disapproval of the rule to send to the President.
  4. The CRA requires Federal agencies to submit final rules to Congress along with a report that includes whether the rule is “major,” as well as the proposed effective date of the rule per Memorandum M-19-14 dated April 11, 2019.
  5. The rule or other document is published to
  6. If the rules provides for public comment, the public is given the opportunity to comment on this rule for a specified timeframe.
  7. Final Rules can be accessed on

Rules are published by the National Archives and Records Administration in the U.S. government’s Federal Register. You can view the website here: 

What is the purpose of the rulemaking process?

The rulemaking process is generally designed to ensure that:

  • the public is informed of rules before they take effect;
  • the public can comment on proposed rules and provide additional data to the agency;
  • the public can access the rulemaking record and analyze data and analysis behind a proposed rule;
  • the agency analyzes and responds to the public’s comments;
  • the agency creates a permanent record of its analysis and the rulemaking process;
  • the agency’s actions can be reviewed by appropriate officials to ensure the correct procedure was followed.


Federal Document Management System (FDMS) is a document management solution structured by dockets (or file folders) which offer a wide range of regulatory activities routinely performed by the Department of State.


White House

Department of State

  • Public Notice 7447  – Reducing Regulatory Burden; Retrospective Review under E.O. 13563 (May 9, 2011)
  • – Information related to international travel, passports, and visas

Office of Management and Budget

Other Agencies

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future