Overstaying Visas: Homeland Security Releases 2016 Entry-Exit Report

July 1, 2017

Immigration is a ‚Äúhot‚ÄĚ conversation topic in the entire country these days. A¬†report issued by U.S Department of Homeland Security¬†reveals a number of facts that help shed light on one facet of such discussions: the number of people who came to the US as visitors and ¬†overstay their visas to seek permanent resident status. The report demonstrates that this is not an effective strategy. This is no surprise to many organizations that practice immigration law or study migration.

Data furnished by Customs Border Protection (CBP) shows that 50, 437,278 people (temporary workers and their families, visitors, or students) processed by CBP through air or sea ports. These people were to leave the country before the end of 2016. Out of these, only 739,478 people (just under 1.5%) overstayed their visas.

Staying beyond CBP-permitted time has severe consequences, even if the person leaves the country later. A person who overstays could be:

    • Taken into Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) custody
    • Detained
    • Placed in immigration court
    • Removed physically from the United States (deported)

A person removed from the U.S. might be barred for many years …or permanently… from re-entering the United States. Such a person has little hope of ever becoming a citizen.


Full report:


Press release on the report: