The United States Department of State (“DOS”) has announced the creation of a six-month pilot program under which certain B-1/B-2 visa applicants may be required to post a bond as a condition of visa issuance. The pilot (test) program was published in the Federal Register on November 24, 2020 and will become effective on December 24, 2020.
Formally named the Visa Bond Pilot Program, the pilot program will apply only to B-1/ B-2 visa applicants who are citizens of countries that have overstay rates of over 10% and who have received approval of an inadmissibility waiver from the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”). Under the pilot program, bonds will be posted with DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (“ICE”) and ICE will retain all bonds posted in the instance that the bond is breached.
During the program’s initial six month test, interviewing consular officers may require B-1/B-2 visa applicants who fall within the scope of the program to post a bond in the amount of $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 depending on the visa applicant’s individual circumstances. We emphasis that this is an option and might not be required by every applicant.
The Pilot Program will help the DOS assess the operational feasibility of posting, processing, and discharging visa bonds in coordination with DHS, to help decide whether it is useful to use visa bonds to reduce overstays.
For more information on the Visa Bond Pilot Program and how it may affect B-1/ B-2 visa applicants in Asia, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org and speak with a U.S. immigration lawyer in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila and Taipei.
Copyright 2021. This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This article may be changed with or without notice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the Enterline Immigration only.