According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, 10,626 Jamaicans overstayed their visas during the period between October 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018. These visas were of the non-immigrant/tourist/business types. The total number of overstays numbered 1,073 more than in the same period a year earlier. During the time period examined, 312,667 Jamaicans were allowed to enter the US; they were expected to leave during that period. However, Homeland Security had no records of departure for 10,242 Jamaicans, and these have been classified as being “in-country overstays.” Another 384 Jamaicans left the US after their allotted visa admission period expired. The US agency noted that, based on its collected data, Jamaica has a total overstay rate of 3.40 percent, with a suspected in-country overstay rate of 3.28 percent.
These rates represented a slight increase over the percentages calculated for the previous year. The current presidential administration has expressed its concern about the overstays, particularly those in the US on B1 and B2 visas.
Consequently, the US Secretary of State and the Attorney General have been asked to recommend actions to address the issue. The attention of the administration will be focused on nations that have a total overstay rate higher than 10 percent in the B1/B2 non-immigrant categories. Jamaican will not be one of the countries of focus because it has an overstay ratio of 3.40 percent in the Combined B10B2 categories. The nation with the highest total overstay ratio was Djibouti with 44.67 percent. Remedies to address the overstays under consideration by the US include suspending or restricting the entry of people from offending countries, targeted suspension of individuals from such countries, limits on the length of the visa period, and additional documentation requirements.