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Cablegate: Jakarta B1/B2 Visa Validation Study

VZCZCXRO2776
RR RUEHJS
DE RUEHJA #1192/01 1702358
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 182358Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9327
INFO RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 2208
RUEHJA/AMCONSUL MEDAN

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001192

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR CA/FPP, CA/EX, EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS CMGT KFRD ID
SUBJECT: Jakarta B1/B2 Visa Validation Study

REF: 07 Jakarta 989

1. SUMMARY: The Consular Section of US Embassy Jakarta recently
conducted a visa applicant validation study. The study covered
B1/B2 visa issuances for the six-month period December 1, 2006, to
May 31, 2007, and was based on a telephone survey followed by house
visits and queries of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS)
Arrival-Departure Information System (ADIS). The overstay rate was
6.8 percent. The data showed a significant decrease in overstay
rates in the latter half of the study period in comparison with the
first half. The overstay rate approached the FY2007 target set in
the 2010 Mission Strategic Plan and represents an improvement from
last year's validation study results (Reftel). END SUMMARY.

-----------
Methodology
-----------

2. The study was restricted to B1/B2 issuances to Indonesian
applicants; third country national (TCN) applicants were not
included. The sample was selected from issuances during the
six-month period December 1, 2006, to May 31, 2007. Thus, even if
an individual had been issued at the end of May 2007, the individual
should have returned to Indonesia before validations began in
February 2008.

3. There were 10,947 B1/B2 issuances for the period. The selection
was done in accordance with the instructions contained in the CA/FPP
document "How to use the CCD reports and Excel Spreadsheet to
generate random samples of visa applicants for use in a validation
study". The number sampled (840 applicants) was based upon the FPP
recommendation of a standard sample size of approximately 800 cases.
This sample number provides a standard +/- 2.1 interval for an
overstay rate of 10 percent as suggested by FPP.

4. CCD reports and the DS-156 paper visa application records of the
individuals randomly selected were pulled and reviewed by a Conoff.
He organized teams of FSNs to make phone calls to the 840
individuals. The phone survey left approximately 100 cases as
"inconclusive". For inconclusive applicants outside of Jakarta,
Conoffs used the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS)
Arrival-Departure Information System (ADIS) to determine the status
of the applicants. Teams of Consular Officers and FSNs then began a
house-to-house canvass of the 27 inconclusive cases located in

Jakarta and the spr"u ding areas to determine the status of the
indiviuals as either "returned", "never traveled" or "supected
overstay."

--------
Findings
-------

5. Table of findings:

Confirmed Overstay:57 (6.8%)
Confirmed Return: 598 (71%)
Never Traeled: 185 (22%)

Total: 840 (100%)

6. Breakdwn of Confirmed Overstay

Overstay Rate for Month of Visa Issuance:
December 2006 - 11.7 percent (15 total)
January 2007 -- 7.8 percent (13 total)
February 2007 - 11.7 percent (17 total)
March 2007 -- 5.0 percent (7 total)
April 2007 -- 3.0 percent (4 total)
May 2007 -- 0.8 percent (1 total)

Gender:
67 percent female (38 total, 14 unmarried, 19 married including 2
newlyweds, 5 minors)

33 percent male (19 total, 2 unmarried, 12 married, 5 minors)

Age:
19 percent under 20 years old (10 total, all single/minors, 5 boys/5
girls)

17 percent 20 - 30 years old (11 total - 9 female/2 male, 7
unmarried, 4 married including 2 newlyweds)

41 percent 30 - 50 years old (24 total - 15 female/ 9 male, 5
unmarried, 19 married)

22 percent over 50 years old (12 total- 9 female/3 male, 4 unmarried
including 3 widows, 8 married)


JAKARTA 00001192 002 OF 002


Characteristics:
89 percent had no prior US travel (51 total)
98 percent were issued full validity visas (56 total)
11 percent had prior visa refusals (6 total)

--------
Analysis
--------

7. The data shows a trend of reduced overstays in the latter half of
the study (March - May) after targeted training and structured
guidance to adjudicating officers. For the full study period, two in
three overstays excluding minors were married according to the
DS-156. Also two in three overstays were women. (Note: The sample
pool was evenly divided 50 percent male/ 50 percent female.) The
breakdown of the genders of the overstays highlights an area for
increased consideration. Young male applicants in Indonesia are
subject to intense scrutiny - it appears female applicants may not
be subject to enough scrutiny.

8. The proportion of individuals (one in five) who have never
traveled, though lower than in last year's study (1 in 3) (Reftel)
raises issues about intent. Most visa applicants in Jakarta state
that they want to travel within one month of the interview. The
individuals who never traveled may see having a valid US visa as a
kind of insurance policy on political and economic instability or
could be applicants whose plans changed. Alternatively, those who
have never traveled may have been malafide applicants and are still
waiting for the right time to begin a new life (as an overstay) in
the US.

9. Outright fraud was suspected in 16 of the 57 confirmed overstays
after attempting phone calls, examining the paper DS-156 and
visiting the (often alleged) residence of the individual.
Interestingly, the 27 individuals who were canvassed house-to-house
came from all types of neighborhoods and socio-economic and ethnic
backgrounds; they were not predominately from individuals usually
deemed as higher risk applicants. The B visa adjusted refusal rate
for Indonesians during the study period is 44 percent, higher than
the FY2006 adjusted refusal rate of 35 percent (Reftel).

----------
Conclusion
----------

10. The current visa validation study for B1/B2 visa issuances
revealed a 25 percent reduction in the overstay rate over the
similar 2007 study for Embassy Jakarta -- 9.1 percent overstay rate
last year and 6.8 percent this year (Reftel). During the second
half of the 2008 study the overstay rate decreased significantly
after adjudicating standards were tightened. Post recognizes that a
telephone survey has weaknesses, but efforts were made to speak
directly to the applicant. The survey also only detects that an
individual is back in Indonesia when the study occurs - he or she
may have indeed worked illegally or violated the period of stay
granted by DHS. Post access to ADIS proved an invaluable resource
in determining the travel history of applicants. ADIS helped
resolve inconclusive cases and confirm overstays. Post
acknowledges that even ADIS is not completely accurate, but coupled
with other information, the resource helped confirm or disprove
suspicions in many cases.

11. Consular management has discussed the findings with the
adjudicating consular officers. Married applicants and female
applicants are areas for renewed focus. The Consul General views
the 7 percent overstay rate as a significant improvement from last
year's results and an affirmation of the current adjudicating
standards and emphasis on fraud prevention programs. The overstay
rate from the study approached the target in the 2010 MSP of 6
percent for 2008. In particular, the overstay rate for the last 3
months of the study was an average of 2.9 percent, well within the
MSP target.

HUME

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