The U.S government has provided figures to show that 239 Grenadians overstayed their non-immigrant tourism/business B1/B2 visas that were granted them to enter the country between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.
This figure is contained in the US Department of Homeland Security’s Fiscal Year 2018 Entry/Exit Overstay Report presented by Acting Homeland Secrertary, Kevin Mc.Alena.
According to the report, a total of 11, 032 Grenadians were granted entry to the United States during the period under review and were expected to leave after the time given to them to remain in the country.
The report indicated that it has no departure records for 219 Grenadians – now classified as suspected in-country overstays.
A total of 20 Grenadians were recorded as leaving the United States after their authorised period of admission expired. This is classified as out-of-country overstays, according to the report.
The U.S Homeland Security has given Grenada a suspected 2.17% overstay rate and a suspected in-country overstay rate of 1.99 per cent.
The over-stay figure for the Spice Isle is the second highest in the sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which is just below that of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at 2.79%.
The lowest is Antigua and Barbuda at 1.39%.
Overall, in the wider Caribbean Community (CARICOM countries, Trinidad & Tobago has the lowest over-stay rate with the United States at 0.40 %, followed by The Bahamas (0.475), Barbados (1.11%), St. Kitts & Nevis (1.73%), St. Lucia (1.86%), and Belize (1.93%).
Haiti, Guyana and Jamaica were the countries in Caricom with the highest over-stay rate in the United States.
The country with the highest rate in the area was Venezuela with 7.31 % of its citizens over-staying their time in the United States while the only communist state in the Caribbean has a relatively small figure of 2.29%.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) compiled the figures based on data collected on departures and overstays by foreign visitors to the United States who entered as non-immigrants through an air or sea port of entry.
DHS is mandated to work with the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to share information on departures and overstays, especially as it pertains to the visa application and adjudication process, with the goals of increasing visa compliance and decreasing overstay numbers and rates.
An overstay is categorised as a non-immigrant who was lawfully admitted to the United States for an authorised period, but remained in the United States beyond his or her authorised period of admission.
DHS identifies two types of overstays: (1) individuals for whom no departure has been recorded (Suspected In-Country Overstays), and (2) individuals whose departure was recorded after their authorised period of admission expired (Out-of-Country Overstays).