President Trump issued a memorandum aimed at placing new immigration restrictions on individuals who hold nonimmigrant (temporary stay) visas.
The “Presidential Memorandum on Combating High Nonimmigrant Overstay Rates” orders the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to immediately take “all appropriate actions that are within the scope of their respective authorities to reduce overstay rates for all classes of nonimmigrant visas.” Restrictions may include suspending issuing visas to citizens of certain countries or limiting the length of stay in the U.S.
Based on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) visa overstay reports, new immigration restrictions on temporary stay visa holders are needed, according to the memo. Temporary stay visa holders include employer-sponsored professionals, international students, and visitors, are needed. DHS oversees U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Issued on April 22, 2019, the memo orders the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to:
- Develop procedures for imposing admission bonds “for improving compliance with the terms and conditions of nonimmigrant visas.”
- Provide recommendations for reducing B-1 and B-2 visa overstay rates for countries that have an overstay rate higher than 10 percent in the combined B-1/B-2 categories based on the Department of Homeland Security Fiscal Year 2018 Entry/Exit Overstay Report. Among the suggested recommendations: Suspending visa issuance to certain nationals or limiting the duration of admission.
- Submit a summary of the efforts to reduce overstays from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program. The program enables citizens of designated countries to travel to the U.S. for business or pleasure for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.
In his column in Forbes, Stuart Anderson, the executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, pointed out that the overstay reports on which the presidential memorandum relies, “in no way represent an accurate count of the number or percentage of people who overstay visas in the United States.” He questioned the fairness of making immigration policy based on inaccurate visa overstay reports.
Anderson cites an analysis of a recent DHS overstay report by Robert Warren, a senior visiting fellow at the Center for Migration Studies. Warren found that “[t]he DHS figures represent actual overstays plus arrivals whose departure could not be verified. That is, they include both actual overstays and unrecorded departures.”
In fact, our firm helped a client last year when a U.S. Consulate denied her a B-1 business visitor visa renewal. The U.S. Consulate erroneously contended that she had previously overstayed a visit to the U.S. However, she had not. U.S. Customs had simply failed to collect a form stapled in her passport and record that she had exited the U.S.
If we can help you or your employee challenge a denied visa renewal or explore options, reach out to us. The Alcorn Immigration Law team supports immigration for innovation.