According to Bryan Hunt, the outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, while the US has been increasing the number of non-immigrant visas to Guyanese nationals, the situation could be overturned if visitors overstay their time.
“They need to continue to use those visas appropriately. Because if they do not and if we start seeing large numbers of Guyanese that either overstay or decide to get a job or stay and work for six months then come back home then go back and work another six months, it will make it difficult for everyone in Guyana to get a visa.”
Hunt, in a recent interview with News Source Guyana said because more Guyanese nationals have been returning home after visiting the United States, this has led to an increase in the number of non-immigrant visas being issued.
He noted that in the past, several Guyanese nationals would stay past the time given to remain in the country and would find jobs and live illegally in the U.S. Many of them are still illegal immigrants.
Hunt explained that the U.S will continue to make it easier for Guyanese to be granted non-immigrant visas as long as they continue to see the high return rate.
“In the last few validation studies that we have done looking at how Guyanese have used their visas, the majority of those who were given B1/B2 Business/Tourist short term visa and those who were given student visas, used them appropriately, stayed within the time that was prescribed and returned home to Guyana, which is good news for Guyana because we can reassess the difficulty in obtaining a US visa”, Hunt explained.
He said the growth in the local economy over the years and the availability of more opportunities in Guyana, may have played a role in Guyanese deciding not to overstay their welcome and instead return home.
Additionally he pointed out that many Guyanese would “pack a few barrels” and send them home with items to sell to finance their future travel.
Over 95% of Guyanese who are issued non-immigrant visas would return home after their short U.S visits.
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