Over 21,000 Indians illegally stayed in US after visa expiration: Report

India ranks among the top 10 countries whose citizens have overstayed their visas in the US, the Homeland Security Department said on Tuesday (7).

More than 21,000 Indians overstayed their visas last year, however, this number is not very high compared to some other nations.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), last year, more than 10.7 lakh Indians visited the US on the B-1, B-2 visas, issued to those who come to the US for business, visit or tourism purposes. Out of these, 14,204 overstayed their visas. A total of 1,708 of these Indians left the country after the expiry of their visas, but there is no record of 12,498 Indians leaving the country.

It is believed that these Indians continue to stay in the US as an illegal immigrant.

In the same year, 127,435 Indian students and research scholars came to the country on F, J and M visa categories, and of these 4,400 overstayed in the country.

Records indicate that 1,567 left the country later on and 2,833 Indians still remain in the US.

Earlier this year, the US government drafted a new policy to tighten visa rules to prevent students from overstaying in the country.

Under the new policy, unlawful presence days will be counted from the day the student fails to maintain “immigration status.” Based on the number of days a student has overstayed, he can be prevented from entering or staying in the US or obtaining permanent residency.

“The new policy can create hurdles for students who fall out of their immigration status and wish to apply for a visa or change their status to that of a US permanent resident,” Fragomen, a global firm specialising in immigration laws, was quoted as saying by the Times of India, an Indian daily.