Author: MNI Alive | Date: 26 May 2019
Figures released by the US Department of Homeland Security’s fiscal year 2018 entry/exit overstay report, shows that over 42,000 Caribbean nationals overstayed their non-immigrant visas and stayed in the US between October 2017 and September 2018.
The US government figures show that overall, in the wider CARICOM countries, Trinidad and Tobago has the lowest over-stay rate in the United States at 0.40 percent, followed by The Bahamas (0.475), Barbados (1.11 percent), St Kitts and Nevis (1.73 percent), Saint Lucia (1.86 percent) and Belize (1.93 percent).
Haiti, Guyana and Jamaica were the countries in CARICOM with the highest over-stay rates in the United States.
The country with the highest rate in the Caribbean was Venezuela with 7.31 percent of its citizens over-staying their time in the United States.
The top ten countries in the region with the most US visa over-stays for the last fiscal year are:
1) Dominican Republic – 14,641
2) Jamaica – 10,626
3) Haiti – 6,917
4) Guyana – 3,220
5) Cuba – 1,868
6) The Bahamas – 1,545
7) Trinidad and Tobago – 811
8) Barbados – 757
9) Belize – 603
10) Saint Lucia – 318
Overall, the DHS report stated that there were 666,582 overstays from around the world. The report also outlines that DHS and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are working towards biometric exit technology implemented to cover more than 97 percent of departing commercial air travellers within the next four years.
As of September 2018, 15 US airports were utilising facial-recognition technology to verify visitors as they exit the country. The pictures are matched to existing images from passport applications, visa applications or interactions with agents at prior border locations to identify the traveller and enable CBP to determine whether the traveller has complied with terms of admission or if they have overstayed.
According to DHS, the biometric system has a match rate of 98 percent. Due to this success, CBP has received, “Many commitment letters from airport authorities and/or air carriers supporting biometric exit operations.” CBP is also conducting testing to identify passengers crossing borders in vehicles utilising facial-recognition technology.”