visa overstays

U.S. Targets Some Nations for Small Numbers of Visa Overstays

By Peek & Toland on July 21, 2019

Relying on a recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) overstay report, the Trump administration is now targeting some nations that they claim have unusually high rates of visa overstays. However, a closer look at the DHS report shows that these enforcement efforts involve a minimal number of immigrants.


More specifically, the Trump administration directed federal agencies to consider action against countries with business and tourist visa holders who overstay their visas at a rate of 10% or more. Although 20 countries have an overstay rate of 10% or more, each of those countries accounted for less than 1,000 of the individuals who overstayed their visas, except for Syria and Nigeria. Many of these countries had less than 500 individuals who overstayed their visas. The only country with a large number of people who overstay their visas is Nigeria, whose overstays approached 30,000 in FY 2018.

Meanwhile, much larger countries had many more individuals who overstayed their visas, but due to the high numbers of travelers from those countries, they did not make the list. For instance, there were more than 43,000 overstays from Mexico and 88,000 from Canada in FY 2018. However, Mexico’s overstay rate is only 1.5%, and Canada’s overstay rate is less than one percent.

U.S. Targets Some Nations for Small Numbers of Visa Overstays

The Trump administration gave State Department officials four months to consult with DHS officials and recommend sanctions against these 20 countries, which could include suspending or limiting the number of available visas for those countries.

Statistically, however, even harsh sanctions against these countries would do little to combat or change current visa overstay rates. A strategy based on visa overstay percentage rates per county also would disproportionately affect African nations, which comprise 13 of the 20 countries at issue and avoid any such conflicts with or sanctions against more powerful countries, such as China and India. Our goal is to assist you with your immigration concerns, whether family or business-based. We can evaluate your situation and develop a strategy that is most likely to be efficient and effective in your case. Regardless of the immigration matter that you are facing, the attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience, knowledge, and reputation that you want and need to advocate on your behalf. When results matter most, contact us at (512) 474-4445.

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Trump Administration Relies on Questionable Visa Overstay Reports to Crack Down on Legal Immigration

By Peek & Toland on July 18, 2019

The Trump administration is justifying its new restrictions on legal immigration, such as concerning international students, temporary workers, and visitors, on a controversial Department of Homeland Security (DHS) FY 2018 Entry/Exit Overstay Report. Relying on the DHS report is problematic for various reasons.

First, the DHS report as to the number of people who overstayed their visas is not accurate. Instead, it contains both individuals who overstayed their visas and those arrivals whose departures DHS could not verify., which significantly increases the number of people in the report. A departure might go unverified for various reasons, such as if the individual remained in the U.S. according to a different valid visa. Some individuals also might pass away, adjust to lawful permanent resident status, or be deported by DHS. Looking at broader statistics on overstays, furthermore, there has been a downward, not an upward trend in overstays, so the DHS report is misleading in this respect.

Trump Administration Relies on Questionable Visa Overstay Reports to Crack Down on Legal Immigration

Another issue with the DHS report is that many of the “overstays” included in their statistics are not documented overstays. Instead, there is evidence that as many as half the “overstays” cited in this report are no longer present in the U.S.

Finally, the Trump administration has relied on “negative” trends in the DHS report, yet wholly ignored “positive” trends in the report. For example, the administration uses the alleged 6.19% overstay for F-1 visa international students in FY 2016 as justification for making it easier to deport these students, even if they inadvertently lose their legal status. However, the report shows that the overstay rate for F-1 visa holders declined 42% between FY 2016 and FY 2018, dropping from 6.19% to 3.59%. Given this significant drop in the number of overstays, even if the numbers are correct, it is difficult for the administration to justify increased efforts to further reduce the overstay percentage of this group of visa holders. When facing any immigration issue, you are likely to need the legal advice that only experienced Texas immigration attorneys can offer you. Peek & Toland regularly provides strong legal representation for individuals, families, and businesses who are dealing with immigration problems. It is our priority to represent your interests and protect your rights.  Call us at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment to speak with us today.

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