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DHS Finally Reports 2022’s Record Number of Visa Overstays

author Published by Chris Pierce

The Center for Immigration Studies published an analysis of DHS’s recently released and extremely overdue visa overstay report for Fiscal Year 2022. The report shows more than 850,000 foreign nationals overstayed their visas in the last fiscal year – thus becoming illegal aliens.

While CIS stated, “A more detailed analysis of the numbers is forthcoming,” here are some of the early highlights from The Center.

Fiscal Year 2022’s visa overstay rate was 3.64% – more than double the rate of recent years.

Of the 850,000 total, approx. 98,000 visitors who entered under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows visa-free travel for short-term visitors from low-risk countries, overstayed in 2022. Spain had the largest number and highest rate of VWP overstayers, with 28,356 overstays and a rate of 5.6 percent.

The largest number of short-term visitor overstays from non-VWP countries came from Venezuela. About 173,000 Venezuelans overstayed during the year, about 94% of the visitors. The next largest number of overstays by short-term visitors are citizens of Mexico, with approximately 124,000 overstays, at a rate of 3.5%.

The CIS summary stated:

For the first time, DHS broke down the overstay rates for the three sub-categories of student/exchange visas. Vocational school students had the highest overstay rate of the three (9.1%). Exchange visitors overstayed at a rate of 5.6%, and university and other traditional students overstayed at a rate of 4.1%.

Just over 9,000 citizens of China overstayed on student or exchange visitor visas, representing more than 16 percent of all student/exchange overstays.

The largest number of overstays in the category, including temporary workers, came from Mexico (131,000) and India (5,800).

… before concluding:

Visa overstays are a significant contributor to our nation’s illegal immigration problem, and improving the situation requires a multi-pronged approach. The State Department should be required to adjust visa issuance standards in certain countries and in certain visa categories to reflect overstay risks. Sponsors and employers of students and workers that produce disproportionately high numbers of overstays should be barred from participating in visa programs. ICE should be directed to expand enforcement programs that target overstays. Laws should be tweaked to impose the same penalties for overstayers as illegal border crossers. Congress should continue to press DHS to build the biometric entry-exit system that will help maintain the integrity of the visa programs.

You can read the complete story here.

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