In 2017, 247 visitors from St. Kitts and Nevis “overstayed” in the US after their visas expired according a Fiscal Year 2017 Entry/Exit Overstay Report issued by The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The report indicated in 2017, 12,143 non-immigrants from the Federation were admitted to the US for business or pleasure via air and sea. Of those, 2.03 percent, with 247 visitors suspected to have over-stayed their allotted visit time.
The report provides data on departures and overstays, by country, for foreign visitors to the United States who entered as non-immigrants through an air or sea Port of Entry (POE) and were expected to depart in FY 2017.
The in-scope population for this report includes temporary workers and families, students, exchange visitors, temporary visitors for pleasure, temporary visitors for business, and other non-immigrant classes of admission.
Similar statistics for 2016 indicate 12,115 non-immigrants from the Federation were admitted to the US for business or pleasure via air and sea. Of those 2.16 percent, 262 visitors suspected to have over-stayed their allotted visit time.
According to DHS, identifying aliens who overstay their authorized periods of stay is important for national security, public safety, immigration enforcement, and processing applications for immigration benefits.
DHS has determined that there were 52,656,022 in-scope non-immigrant admissions to the United States through air or sea POEs with expected departures occurring in FY 2017; the in-scope admissions represent the vast majority of all air and sea non-immigrant admissions. Of this number, DHS calculated a total overstay rate of 1.33 percent, or 701,900 overstay events.
The report also breaks down the overstay rates further to provide a better picture of those overstays who remain in the United States beyond their period of admission and for whom there is no identifiable evidence of a departure, an extension of period of admission, or transition to another immigration status. At the end of FY 2017, there were 606,926 Suspected In-Country Overstays. The overall Suspected In-Country Overstay rate was 1.15 percent of the expected departures.
Over the years, DHS significantly improved data collection processes in the entry environment. These improvements include the collection of data on all admissions to the US by foreign nationals.
Improvements to the system include:
• the reduction of the number of documents that may be used for entry to the United States,
• the collection of biometric data on most foreign travellers to the United States, and
• the comparison of that data against criminal and terrorist watch lists.
According to the DHS, despite the different infrastructural, operational, and logistical challenges presented in the exit environment, DHS has been able to resolve many of the issues regarding the collection of departure information for foreign nationals.
Further efforts, including partnerships with other governments and the private sector (e.g., airlines airports, cruise lines), are ongoing and will continue to improve data integrity.
During the past three years, DHS made significant progress in terms of the ability to accurately report data on overstays—progress that was made possible by congressional realignment of Department resources in order to better centralize the overall mission in identifying overstays.
In FY 2017, new biometric exit tests in both the land and air environment enabled continued progress toward the fusion of biometric and biographic verification of travellers.
While these tests account for only a small percentage of all the departure records for FY 2017, this is a significant increase from FY 2016. DHS said it is a critical step forward towards implementing a comprehensive biometric entry and exit system.
DHS will continue to develop and test the entry and exit system during FY 2018, both biometric and biographic, and this testing will improve CBP’s ability to capture and report this data accurately. DHS will continue to annually release this overstay data to the public and examine trends over time, and looks forward to providing updates to congressional members and their staff on its ongoing progress.