The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a long-awaited report concerning the number of visitors who overstay their visits to the US. The DHS Press Release notes that the Department has made...
significant progress in identifying overstay rates and efforts to address limitations as a result of the infrastructure of U.S. ports of entry—including airports— that was not built with immigration exit controls in mind.
The report focuses on foreign nationals who enter the US as visitors for business or tourism. Almost 45 million such visitors entered the US in Fiscal Year 2015 (October 1 2014 - Sept 30 2015), with authorized stays also expiring in FY2015. DHS reports that 1.17% of these visitors overstayed, totally 527,127 individuals. However, these overstays did not necessarily remain in the US, and by January 4, 2016, DHS believed that the number of overstays had dropped to 0.9%.
Given the recent changes to the Visa Waiver Program (see this blog posting), it is interesting to note that these entrants had a much lower rate of overstay than others - 0.6% for VWP entrants vs 1.6% for B visa holders.
Full DHS Report here.
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.