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Jamaica leads the Caribbean in visitors overstaying their visas in the United States

Featured Jamaica leads the Caribbean in visitors overstaying their visas in the United States
MONTEGO BAY,  May 14, 2019 - In excess of ten thousand Jamaican remained in the United States last year, leading the Caribbean region in visitors who have overstayed their time in the United States on non-immigrant visas, after arriving for business or on vacation.

In its 2018 Entry/Exit Overstay Report the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which revealed that some 10,626 Jamaicans overstayed the time granted for them to remain in the United States. Haiti was next in line with 6917 overstays; Guyana with 3220;Cuba, 1868; Bahamas,1545; Trinidad and Tobago, 811; Barbados,757; Belize 603; Saint Lucia 318; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 278; Grenada, 239; Antigua and Barbuda, 228; Saint Kitts and Nevis, 214 and Suriname with the lowest at 192.

According to the report, over the period of October 2017 to September 2018, some 312,667 Jamaicans were supposed to have departed from the US after going to visit that country. These figures represent a 3.40% per cent overstay rate and represent an increase from the previous year, when 9,553 Jamaicans also overstayed their time.

Of the latest numbers, the report states that 10,242 of these Jamaicans are suspected to have been hiding in the US during this period. It also states that 384 are out of country overstays, or persons who eventually left the country having already overstayed their time.

In addition, the US has found that 297 of this amount were Jamaican students studying in the US and exchange visitors who overstayed the time they were given. There were 525 persons in this category who were supposed to depart the country during the one-year period, an overstay rate of 7.06 per cent.

In the previous year, the amount of Jamaican students overstaying was 711. The report shows that 10,623 students were expected to leave but 225 departed after their time had expired and there was no evidence that 486 of them departed at all.

Other countries with high numbers of overstays include Venezuela with 35 thousand; Nigeria with 29 thousand; the Dominican Republic at 14 thousand; India at 12 thousand; The Philippines at 5 thousand with Peru, Honduras and Russia at 4 thousand overstays each.

USMeanwhile, the report urges that identifying the offending aliens who overstay their time is important for national security, public safety, immigration enforcement and immigration benefits” purposes.

It states that further efforts such as partnerships with other governments and members of the private sector such as airlines, airports and cruise lines are ongoing and will continue in order to improve data integrity.

Going forward, the report details that the DHS will continue to develop, test, and expand the entry and exit system during 2019. These improvements will pertain to both biometric and biographic traveller data.

Trump signed a memorandum ordering the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit plans within four months to crackdown on overstays, such as punishing countries whose citizens have high rates of overstays and requiring foreign travellers to post “admission bonds,” where people entering the country would pay a fee that would be reimbursed when they leave — in an effort to improve compliance..

The memo, issued on April 22, had suggested, among other things, measures such as “suspending or limiting entry of nationals of those countries who hold B-1 or B-2 visas; targeted suspension of visa issuance for certain nationals; limits to duration of admission, to be implemented by the Department of Homeland Security; and additional documentary requirements.”

DHS has engaged in a concerted campaign to end visa overstay abuse. For the second year in a row, visa overstay rates have declined. DHS will continue efforts to ensure the integrity of its non-immigrant visa program.

An overstay is a non-immigrant who was lawfully admitted to the United States for an authorized period, but remained in the United States beyond his or her authorized period of admission.

The authorized admission period can be a fixed period; or for the duration of a certain activity, such as the period during which a student is pursuing a full course of study or any authorized technical/practical training.

DHS identifies two types of overstays: 1) individuals for whom no departure has been recorded (Suspected In-Country Overstays), and 2) individuals whose departure was recorded after their authorized period of admission expired (Out-of-Country Overstays).

DHS has determined that there were 54,706,966 in-scope non-immigrant admissions1 to the United States through air or sea POEs with expected departures occurring in FY 2018, which represents the majority of air and sea annual non-immigrant admissions. Of this number, DHS calculated a total overstay rate of 1.22 percent, or 666,582 overstay events. In other words, 98.78 percent of the in-scope non-immigrant entries departed the United States on time and in accordance with the terms of their admission.

Last modified onTuesday, 16 July 2019 17:39
  • Countries: Jamaica

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