Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors to the US overstay their visas, some of them indefinitely. One out of every 100 visitors from India, and almost two out of every 100 international students from India overstayed their U.S. visa during the 2017 fiscal year, according to a report issued Aug. 9 by the Department of Homeland Security.
The number of “overstays” is almost two times as large. By the end of fiscal 2017, there were about 600,000 people suspected to still be in the US after their permission to stay had expired, according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). That year, the US Border Patrol apprehended a little more than 310,000 immigrants trying to enter the US.
The visitors and student to the US who overstay their visas are a large chunk of illegal immigration that is seldom mentioned by Donald Trump, who has mostly focused on people who enter the country between ports of entry, not through airports.
India and China had the largest numbers of visitors to the U.S. during the last fiscal year: India had more than one million total, while more than 4.5 million Chinese residents visited or graduated in the U.S.
According to DHS statistics, 1,078,809 visitors from India arrived in the U.S. last year on B1 or B2 visitors’ visas. Of those, 1,708 stayed for a while after their visa expired, but eventually left the U.S.
An estimated 12,498 visitors overstayed and are believed to still reside in the U.S., in undocumented status. India is the fastest-growing home country for undocumented U.S. residents: an estimated 500,000 – one out of every six – Indian nationals currently reside in the U.S. without requisite immigration papers, according to earlier DHS data, and the Migration Policy Institute.
Approximately 127,435 students from India graduated and finished their optional practical training, and were expected to return to the home country. Of those, 1,567 stayed for a while but eventually left, while 2,833 remained in the country, accruing unlawful presence, about 3.5 percent.
DHS identifies individuals as possible overstays if there are no records of a departure or change in status prior to the end of their authorized admission period; such persons are identified as “in country overstays” while those who leave some time after their visa expires are termed “out of country” overstays.
Those who do overstay but eventually leave face a penalty of not being able to return to the U.S., for varying periods of time ranging from three to 10 years. Those who remain in the country and do not leave face possible detention and deportation proceedings.