Seal of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
OF THE
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

WASHINGTON, D. C.  20551

DIVISION OF BANKING
SUPERVISION AND REGULATION


SR 94-40 (FIS)
June 22, 1994

TO THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF SUPERVISION
          AT EACH FEDERAL RESERVE BANK


SUBJECT: Citizenship Policy and Requirements For Federal Reserve Examiners

                        This letter clarifies the Board's policy with regard to noncitizens as it pertains to the hiring of Federal Reserve examiners1, in accordance with the Board's revised Rules Regarding Equal Opportunity.2 As you know, for some time the Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation, as a matter of policy, had extended a flat prohibition on the hiring of noncitizens as Federal Reserve examiners at Reserve Banks because of the special nature of the supervisory function, the need to ensure confidentiality of information, and the delegated nature of the function.  The Board's current Rule with regard to examiners provides certain limited exceptions to the requirement for United States citizenship. Conditions under which individuals who are not citizens of the United States may be considered for employment as Federal Reserve examiners are outlined below.  

                        Generally speaking, Reserve Banks have been given greater latitude to hire as examiners noncitizens who are intending U.S. citizenship.  The rules have been revised to provide some additional flexibility for the hiring of noncitizens, while maintaining important safeguards to ensure that information integrity and data security are maintained as they relate to U.S. banking organizations and related entities.   The Board considers the examiner position to be a "sensitive position" as defined in 12 C.F.R. Section 268.304(a)(4).

                        For those noncitizen examiner candidates that a Reserve Bank wishes the Board to consider and approve, the Reserve Bank should ensure the following:

  1. The individual is an immigrant, i.e., holds a permanent resident visa/Green Card, and is legally qualified to become a U.S. citizen under the U.S. immigration laws;

  2. The individual states in writing his/her intention to become a U.S. citizen;

  3. The individual has taken whatever steps he or she is permitted to take under applicable law to become a U.S. citizen within the timeframe prescribed by law; and

  4. The individual has agreed in writing that his/her statement of intention to become a U.S. citizen is a condition of employment for that position such that if he/she receives examiner credentials and later fails to take all the steps necessary to become a U.S. citizen within the timeframe prescribed by law, his/her employment with the Supervision and Regulation Department at the Reserve Bank shall cease.

                        To ensure consistency and compliance with the conditions outlined under this policy, Reserve Banks may be asked to periodically report to the Board the citizenship status of those noncitizen employees who have been approved by the Board as examiners.  

                        The Board's Legal Division has requested that I remind you that it is generally illegal for a Reserve Bank to discriminate against noncitizens on the basis of national origin. On the other hand, it is illegal to employ noncitizens who are not authorized to work at a Reserve Bank if they do not possess the proper visa.  However, under federal law and the Board's Rules, it is permissible to require that a Federal Reserve examiner be a U.S. citizen, or hold a permanent residence visa/Green Card and be an intending citizen.  Federal law further states that a Reserve Bank may prefer to hire or recruit as an examiner an individual who is a U.S. citizen over another individual who is a noncitizen (immigrant or nonimmigrant) if the two individuals are equally qualified.3

                        A copy of the Board's Rule (Section 268.304, Employment of Noncitizens) is attached for your information.  Should you have any questions regarding the application of this policy please contact Cynthia Rotruck at (202) 452-3633.  


Richard Spillenkothen
Director

ATTACHMENT MAY BE OBTAINED FROM FEDERAL RESERVE BANK


Footnotes

1.  The term "examiner" is defined to mean any employee appointed by the Board as an examiner or assistant examiner.  Return to text

2.  Rules Regarding Equal Opportunity, Employment of Noncitizens, 12 C.F.R. Section 268.304 (d) (revised effective May 6, 1994).  Return to text

3.  See 8 U.S.C. Sections 1324b(a)(a)(A), 1324a(h)(3)(B), 1324b(a)(3) and 1324b(a)(4).  Return to text


SR letters | 1994