The Trump government has introduced via a ‘temporary final rule’ a proposed visa bonds pilot program. Where applications from specific nations traveling to the US for business or as tourists will have to furnish a bond, it’s denomination can be as high as $ 15,000.
However, as the outstay rate for Indians going on B1/B2 visas (business and tourist visas) isn’t high. Indians are rejected from having to furnish such a bond under the pilot program.
During the fiscal year finished September 30, 2019, almost 12.26 lakh Indians who had visited the US on these two visas were required to depart. Or in other words, the authorized time of their visa tenure terminated within this fiscal year. Just 13,203 exceeded which resulted in India’s overstay rate of 1.08%. Much below the 10% which the Trump administration is focussed on targeting.
Proposed Visa Bonds
The temporary last rule was issued on November 24 2020 and the pilot program will become effective, 30 days post that. Which is before the end of December 2020. Also, it will apply to nationals of specified nations with high overstay rates. Which includes Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Yemen, and a few African countries.
It is planned to serve as a diplomatic tool to encourage foreign governments to take all suitable actions. To guarantee that their nationals timely depart the US after their temporary visit.
The pilot program will run-up to 24th June 2021, during which period consular officials may require visa candidates. Falling within the scope of this program to furnish a bond of $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000 as a state of visa issuance. The amount of the bond will be determined by the consular official based on the circumstances of the visa candidate.
The Trump government’s spring plan published in July had covered this proposal. Amusingly, the temporary last rule expresses the purpose of the pilot. It is to assess the operational challenges and is not aimed toward assessing the effectiveness of the bonds for reducing overstays.