A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Friday, August 30, 2013

165 million nonimmigrant admissions to the U.S. in 2012

Every day, there are tens of thousands of visitors who arrive at the United States by land, by plane or by sea. Some of them are returning legal residents, but most of them are foreigners who come here for pleasure, temporary stays, business transactions, temporary employment, studies, and other legitimate purposes. These visitors' background is as diverse as the countries where they come from.  Due to national security reasons, all visitors are subject to screening at the border or a port of entry before they are allowed to enter the U.S. A good understanding of the characteristics and profiles of foreign visitors can promote tourism and facilitate business activities.

During 2012 alone, there were an estimated 165 million nonimmigrant admissions to the United States, according to a recent report by the Department of Homeland Security. There are three main types of admissions to the United States.  The first type of admissions are Canadians who come here for personal or business reasons.  Secondly, we have Mexican nationals who come here with Border Crossing Cards, which allow them to enter the U.S. temporarily for pleasure or business.

The third type of visitors are classified as I-94 admissions.  Until recently, these visitors were issued an I-94 form with their name, birthday, citizenship, and date and port of entry on it.  I-94 admissions represent 33 % (53.9  million) of the total admissions.  Most of the I-94 admissions were temporary visitors for pleasure (78%) and business (10.6%).   5.7 percent of them were temporary workers and their family members. The leading temporary workers include TN NAFTA professional workers (1.4%), H-1B workers (0.9%) and L-1 intracompany transferees (0.9%).  3.1 percent were students.

In terms of country of origin, the top countries in 2012 are Mexico (16 million or 30.5%), United Kingdom (4.4 million, 8.3%), Japan (4.1 million, 7.7%), Germany (2.3 million, 4.3%), France (1.9 million, 3.6%), Brazil (1.7 million, 3.3%), China (1.7 million, 3.3%), South Korea (1.5 million, 2.8%), Canada (1.4 million, 2.7%), Australia (1.3 million, 2.5%).

The top ports of entry are New York, NY (10.7%), Miami, FL (9.5%), Los Angeles, CA (7.2%), Newark, NJ (3.9%), San Ysidro, CA (3.9%), Honolulu, HI (3.5%) , San Francisco, CA (3.5%), Chicago, IL (3.0%), Houston, TX (2.6%), and Atlanta, GA (2.6%).

The top ten final destinations of these I-94 visitors are: California (18.9%), Florida (13.4%), Texas (12.7%), New York (11.9%), Hawaii (3.7%), Nevada (3.3%), Arizona (3.2%), Washington (2.3%), Michigan (2.2%), and Illinois (1.9%).

There are slightly more men (51.6%) than women (47.5%) who visited the U.S. as I-94 visitors.  In terms of age, most of them are between the age of 25 to 44 (43%), and 11.3% of them are children under 18.

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