WaExaminer: The Trump administration will begin requiring countries with high rates of citizens overstaying select visas in the U.S. to launch campaigns educating people against breaking U.S. immigration laws, senior administration officials announced Friday.
The Department of Homeland Security introduced three new requirements relevant to the 38 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program, an immigration and national security partnership among America’s closest allies that allows recipients to visit the U.S. without a visa for up to 90 days.
“These were part of a series of enhancements that we had looked at and considered, and we considered appropriate at this time, but there wasn’t a specific threat … that prompted this,” a senior administration official told reporters Friday morning.
One consequence that the administration wants foreigners to understand is that they will not be permitted to re-enter the U.S. “visa-free” following an overstay.
Four countries — Portugal, Greece, Hungary, and San Marino — which had overstay rates on business or tourism nonimmigrant visas of greater than 2 percent last year will be required to form public information campaigns that educate their citizens on the conditions for admission to the U.S.
The overstay rate among VWP recipients is actually lower than non-VWP visas, 0.68 percent versus 2.17 percent, respectively.
In fiscal 2016, 147,282 VWP recipients overstayed in the country compared to the 21.6 million who left before the deadline.
The change to this specific program was made in order to ensure the VWP has the appropriate security requirements in place to make sure terrorists and criminals cannot exploit the program. read more