Over 28,000 Indians Overstayed Their Visas in U.S. Last Year, Says Report

There were 701,900 visa overstays in the United States from October 2016 through September 2017, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Over 28,000 Indians overstayed the permitted limit of their visas in the United States in 2017, according to recently-released figures from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The number of overstayers last year is less than the corresponding figure of year 2016, when over 30,000 Indians overstayed their visas.

A total of 52,656,022 in-scope non-immigrant admissions were expected to leave the United States through air or sea port of entries (POE) in FY 2017, the DHS said in the “2017 Entry/Exit Overstay Report.” There were 701,900 visa overstays from October 2016 through September 2017, making up a total overstay rate of 1.33 percent, the report showed.

Visas issued to student and exchange visitors, temporary workers and trainees, spouses/children of U.S. citizens, intra-company transfers and others come into the category of in-scope non-immigrants. On the other hand, visas issued to diplomats, foreigner witnesses, etc. form the category of out-of-scope non-immigrants.

In FY 2017, a total of 1,651,690 Indians were supposed to leave America after expiration of their visa limit. As many as 28,174 were either in-country or out-of-country overstayers.

In 2016, as many as 1,442,291 Indians were expected to depart while a total of over 30,399 people overstayed their visas.

An individual who is a suspected in-country overstay has no recorded departure, while an out-of-country overstay has a recorded departure that occurred after their lawful admission period expired.

The overstay figure for non-immigrant Indians admitted to the United States for business or pleasure in 2017 was 14,206, of which 1,708 left the United States after their visas expired. So there is no record of 12,498 Indians leaving the country.

In 2016, as many as 17,763 overstayed on these B-1, B-2 visas, of which 2,040 left the United States after the expiry of their visas, while 15,723 continued to stay illegally.

Overstayers in the category of “student and exchange visitors” and “other in-scope non-immigrant classes” in 2017 showed a decline as compared to the previous year. While the overstayers in these two categories in 2017 were 4,400 and 9,568, respectively, the corresponding numbers in 2016 were 4,575 and 8,061, respectively.     

For both the years, the highest rate of overstay of Indians was recorded in the “student and exchange visitor” visa category. It was 3.45 percent in 2017, and 4.62 percent of 2016.

In 2017, a total of 127,435 Indian students and research scholars came to the United States under the F, J and M visa categories. Of the 4,400 Indians under this category who overstayed, 1,567 departed later, while 2,833 Indians would still be in the country.

Among other categories of non-immigrants, 445,446 Indians were expected to depart in 2017. Of them, 9,568 of them overstayed their visas.While 2,956 left America after the expiry of their visa, 6,612 are suspected to be illegally staying in the country.

Canada, with 92,000 people, was at the top of the list of overstays, followed by Mexico, with 47,000 overstayers. Venezuela, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Nigeria, China, France, Spain and Germany made up the rest of the top 10 countries.

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