DHS Issues 2011 Annual Report of Nonimmigrants Admitted to the U.S.

The Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released its 2011 Annual Report on Admissions of Nonimmigrants to the United States. The report reveals statistical details of foreign nationals who are admitted to the country for reasons other than immigration, including visitors for business or pleasure, students and temporary workers. The OIS creates the report by compiling data from I-94 arrival records.

According to the report, 159 million nonimmigrants were admitted to the United States in fiscal year 2011. This includes I-94 admissions and two other categories of visitors who are exempt from I-94 requirements: business travelers and tourists from Canada and individuals from Mexico who possess Border Crossing Cards. I-94 admissions were 33 percent of the total, or about 53.1 million nonimmigrants.

Of the I-94 admissions, the top countries of origin were Mexico, Japan and the United Kingdom, with Germany, Canada, France and Brazil also accounting for large numbers of visitors. Temporary visitors for business or pleasure made of the vast majority of I-94 admissions, at 87 percent of the total. Temporary workers made up 6.4 percent, while students accounted for 3.4 percent.

Not surprisingly, the summer months saw the largest number of I-94 admissions, with more than 5 million visitors in each of the vacation months of July and August. The month of December also saw more than 5 million I-94 admissions. Approximately 40.6 million temporary visitors were visiting for pleasure, compared to 5.7 million business travelers.

The report states that of the approximately 2 million temporary workers and trainees admitted in 2011, about 900,000 were professional workers admitted under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Another nearly 500,000 admissions were from workers in specialty occupations.

Approximately 1.8 million students were admitted, with nearly all of them being academic students. A much smaller number of vocational students and families of students were admitted.

An additional category of I-94 admissions is accounted for by diplomats and representatives of foreign governments or nonprofit organizations and their families. This group made up 377,830 of the I-94 admissions in 2011.

The DHS report also examined the mode of travel employed by nonimmigrant visitors, categorizing them by land and non-land admissions. Non-land admissions totaled 33.9 million, while land admissions accounted for 19.2 million. Visitors from Mexico and Canada accounted for the vast majority of visitors who arrived by land.

Stewart Rabinowitz is President of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. Mr. Rabinowitz is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To contact a Dallas immigration lawyer or Dallas immigration attorney visit Rabinowitzrabinowitz.com