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White House Directs Agencies to Tighten B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa Enforcement

A new Presidential Memorandum directs the Department of State (DOS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to recommend ways to reduce the number of B-1 and B-2 visitors who overstay their authorized period of admission in the United States, including those who use the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), as well as to take actions to reduce the overstay rates for nonimmigrant visa categories generally.

The Memo directs federal immigration agencies to do the following:

  • Visa Waiver Program recommendations: Within 180 days, DHS must report to President Trump on its ongoing efforts to reduce VWP overstays, as well as provide recommendations for further enforcement with respect to the program.   
  • Targeted enforcement for countries with more than 10% B visa overstay rate: DOS, in conjunction with DHS and the Department of Justice, must provide President Trump with recommendations to reduce B overstays from countries with overstay rates over 10%, as identified by the DHS FY 2018 Entry/Exit Overstay Report. Proposed actions against nationals of these countries could include suspension or limitation of travel for current B visa holders, suspension of B visa issuance, limits to duration of admission to the U.S., and/or additional documentary requirements. Agency recommendations are required to be submitted to the President within 120 days of the Memo.
  • Take action to reduce overstay rates for all nonimmigrant visa types: DOS and DHS are ordered to “immediately” take action to reduce the overstay rates of all types of nonimmigrant visas. The memorandum specifically directs DOS and DHS to develop measures to impose admission bonds as a means of enforcing visa compliance across all nonimmigrant categories and submit a status report to the President on this issue within 120 days.
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