Visa Overstays: What to not do!

The Trump Administration has made it no secret that curbing illegal immigration is a top priority. In a memorandum issued by President Trump on April 22,2019, also made it clear that the Administration was making a concerted effort to reduce the number of people who were overstaying their visas. While much attention has been placed on the President’s plans at the southern border, visa overstays are actually a much more pervasive reason for undocumented immigrants than crossing the border illegally. The Center for Migration Studies showed that, from 2016 to 2017, 62% of undocumented immigrants were those who had overstayed their visas and 38% had crossed the border illegally.

Trump Administration Cracks Down on Visa Overstays:

In the April 22nd Memorandum, President Trump directed the State Department to work in – tandem with foreign governments to reduce the overstay rate. Specifically, the State Department was directed to work with the government of countries with higher overstay rates. These countries include:

  • Nigeria
  • Somalia
  • Chad
  • Sudan
  • Togo Liberia
  • Eritrea
  • Sierra Leon
  • The Solomon Islands
  • Togo
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso

While the Memorandum made no specific policy or procedural changes, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now required to consult with the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security and submit a report recommending policies intended to reduce the number of visa overstays. The report must be submitted in no later than 120 days. While there will be much speculation of these plans, they are believed to include focusing on new travel restrictions for those countries with higher overstay rates. Additionally, the number of length of visas, both for business and tourism, could also be limited for those countries that have higher rates of nationals overstaying their visas. As of now, the Administration has already taken the following steps to reduce visa overstays:

  • Notifications sent to entrants of the visa waiver program reiterating the end date of their authorized stay and the consequences of violating this end date;
  • Requiring countries with greater than a 2% overstay rate to mount public awareness; campaigns regarding the consequences of overstaying a visa; and
  • Implementation of advanced biometrics at the border.

The President issued the Memorandum focusing on visa overstays because the Administration believes it is a way to curb immigration on a larger scale. Furthermore, the Administration believes alleviating the number of visa overstays will free up resources so that there can be a more concerted effort to reduce the number of crossings at the southern border.

Trusted Immigration Counsel: Give NPZ Immigration Lawyers a Call:

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at