In 2017, more than 21,000 Indians who were supposed to leave the US at the end of their permissible limits overstayed their visas, as per the latest official report.
While the percentage of Indians overstaying and not leaving the US after the expiry of their visas is not very high compared to some other nations, but in sheer number India ranks among the top 10 countries whose citizens come to the US legally and continue to stay illegally.
The Department of Homeland Security in its latest annual report released on Wednesday said that in 2017, more than 10.7 lakh Indians visited the United States on the popular B-1, B-2 visas, which is issued to those who come to the US for business, visit or tourism purposes.
Of these, 14,204 overstayed in the country. According to the report, 1,708 of these Indians left the US later after the expiry of their visas, while there is no record of 12,498 Indians leaving the country. This could be presumed that they continue to stay in the US as an illegal immigrant.
At the end of fiscal 2017, there were 606,926 suspected in-country overstays. The overall suspected in-country overstay rate was 1.15 per cent of the expected departures, the DHS said.
It was 1.16 per cent for India, which is a non-visa waiver program (VWP) country. For non-VWP countries, the FY 2017 suspected in-country overstay rate is 1.91 per cent of the 14,659,249 expected departures.
For non-immigrants who entered on a student or exchange visitor visa (F, M, or J visa), the DHS has determined there were 1,662,369 students and exchange visitors scheduled to complete their program in the United States. However, 4.15 per cent stayed beyond the authorized window for departure at the end of their program. For India, the rate was 3.4 per cent, less than the national average.