U.S. Saw Fewer Caribbean Visitors In 2009


CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Weds. May 5, 2010: Fewer Caribbean nationals on non-immigrant visas travelled to the United States last year, latest Department of Homeland Security data analyzed by CaribWorldNews show.

Data released this week by the DHS show that some 1.2 million Caribbean nationals arrived in the U.S. last year, compared to some 1.4 million in 2008.

Antigua and Barbuda had 18,743 last year, a decline from the previous year when there were 22,649 visitors to the U.S. The Bahamas also saw a decline, dropping to 282,172 in 2009 compared to 332,571 in 2008.

The same was true for Barbados which saw 65,434 arriving as non-immigrants in 2008 compared to 57,993 last year. The Dominican Republic also saw a big drop, down from 276,511 in 2008 to 250,368 in 2009.

Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica also saw a decline in its national to the U.S. Haiti`s visitors to America were down from 115,591 in 2008 to 103,601 in 2009 while Jamaica`s decline was down to 252,663 last year compared to 281,353 for the previous year. Trinidad and Tobago also saw a drop from 177,916 in 2008 to 173,660 in 2009.

The decline for St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and  Grenada was small, but a drop anyway.

Grenada saw a drop off from 11,773 in 2008 to just 11,069 last year while St. Kitts Nevis saw its visitors to the U.S. from 15,761 to 13,243 last year.

St. Lucia saw the number of nationals from its country visiting the U.S. plummet from 19,458 to 17,573 last year while St. Vincent and the Grenadines saw a slight drop from 14,545 in 2008 to 14,076 in 2009.

However, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Suriname and Guyana saw a slight upswing. Dominica sent 5,855 visitors to the U.S. last year compared to 5,821 in 2008 while Suriname saw its visitors to the U.S. growing to 7,851 last year, up from 6,926 in 2008.

Guyana too saw an increase in arrivals from the South American nation to the U.S. with 25,985 in 2009 compared to 24,862 in 2008.

During 2009, there were an overall 163 million non-immigrant1 admissions to the United States according to DHS work-load estimates. The leading countries of citizenship for resident non-immigrant admissions to the United States in 2009 were Mexico  followed by India  and Japan.

Non-immigrants are foreign nationals granted temporary entry into the United States. The major purposes for which nonimmigrant admission may be authorized include temporary visits for business or pleasure, academic or vocational study, temporary employment, and to act as a representative of a foreign government or international organization, according to the DHS.


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