The U.S Embassy here in Georgetown has been increasing the total number of visitors visas being issued to Guyanese nationals over the past few years and successful visa applicants are being encouraged to use their visas in keeping with the US Laws and not overstay their time in the U.S.
Outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Georgetown, Bryan Hunt, during a recent interview with News Source revealed that the reason the US has been increasing the number of non-immigrant visas to Guyanese nationals is because more of them have been returning home after their visits.
In the past, many locals would stay past the time given to remain in the country and would find jobs and live illegally in the U.S. Many of them are still illegal immigrants.
Hunt explained that the U.S will continue to make it easier for Guyanese to be granted non-immigrant visas as long as they continue to see the high return rate. If that changes, the coin could be flipped, and less visas could be issued annually, which will make it more difficult to obtain a non-immigrant visa.
“In the last few validation studies that we have done looking at how Guyanese have used their visas, the majority of those who were given B1/B2 Business/Tourist short term visa and those who were given student visas, used them appropriately, stayed within the time that was prescribed and returned home to Guyana, which is good news for Guyanese because we can reassess the difficulty in obtaining a US visa”, Hunt explained.
He however, warned that if when the next round of validations are completed, the Embassy has noticed more Guyanese overstaying their time in the U.S, that could result in more difficulty in obtaining a U.S visa.
He said the growth in the local economy over the years and the availability of more opportunities in Guyana, may have played a role in Guyanese deciding not to overstay their welcome and instead return home.
Additionally he pointed out that many Guyanese would “pack a few barrels” and send them home with items to sell to finance their future travel.
“They need to continue to use those visas appropriately. Because if they do not and if we start seeing large numbers of Guyanese that either overstay or decide to get a job or stay and work for six months then come back home then go back and work another six months, it will make it difficult for everyone in Guyana to get a visa”, Hunt warned.
Over 95% of Guyanese who are issued non-immigrant visas would return home after their short U.S visits.