State Department Visa Refusals in FY 2018 for Immigrants and Nonimmigrants
Implementation of “extreme vetting” and new “public charge” eligibility requirements at U.S. consulates has increased the number of immigrants and applicants for temporary visas denied entry to the United States, according to an analysis of new data released by the U.S. Department of State. The National Foundation for American Policy compared data for FY 2017 to FY 2018 and found ineligibility findings used by the State Department to refuse visa applicants increased 39% for immigrants and 5% for nonimmigrants (individuals seeking temporary visas) between FY 2017 and FY 2018. The number of temporary visas issued declined 7% from FY 2017 to FY 2018, while the number of immigrant (permanent resident) visas issued fell 5% from FY 2017 to FY 2018. Immigrant and temporary visas could continue to decline in FY 2019 and FY 2020 due to restrictive policies from the Trump administration.
The administration’s March 6, 2017 presidential memorandum on “heightened screening and vetting of applications for visas” and the change in public charge standards in the Foreign Affairs Manual are most responsible for the decline in visa issuance. The presidential memorandum stated, “I direct the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security . . . to rigorously enforce all existing grounds of inadmissibility and to ensure subsequent compliance with related laws after admission.” The Buy American and Hire American executive order also has played a role. Reducing the number of immigrants and temporary visa holders admitted to the United States has been an administration goal since Donald Trump became president.
National Foundation for American Policy. (2019). State Department Visa Refusals in FY 2018 for Immigrants and Nonimmigrants. Retrieved from https://nfap.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/State-Department-Visa-Refusals-In-FY-2018.NFAP-Policy-Brief.March-2019.pdf