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MPI: Nonimmigrant Visas Up 10% in 2015

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According to the annual report released by the Migration Policy Institute the number of nonimmigrant visas issued by the U.S. Dep. of State (DOS) increased by 10% in 2015 compared to 2014. The DOS issued 10.9 million nonimmigrant visas in 2015 up from 9.9 million visas issued in 2014.

According to the MPI report 78% of the nonimmigrant visas went to business and tourist visas such as B-1, B-2, and BCC visas, 6% went to academic and language program students and their family members under F-1, F-2, and F-3 visas, and 4% went temporary work visas such as H-1B, H-2A, and H-2B visas.

The report also showed that that overall immigrant population reached a record breaking 42.4 million in 2014, a 2.5% increase from 2013.

As the number of nonimmigrant visas issued has grown so has the need for a working biometric entry/exit system. A recent DHS report showed that nearly 500,000 foreigners entered the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa and overstayed their visa in 2015.

Data shows that visa overstays could represent up to 40% of the country’s illegal aliens. Since 1996 Congress has passed seven different laws requiring biometric entry-exit screening but has failed in the last 20 years to ensure that these laws were implemented.

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