Cablegate: Surabaya B1/B2 Visa Validation Study

DE RUEHJS #0103/01 2520045
R 080045Z SEP 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A: 07 SURABAYA 0009, B: 08 JAKARTA 1192

1. Summary: The Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General
in Surabaya recently conducted a validation study of B1/B2 visa
issuances for the six month period between December 1, 2006 and
May 31, 2007. The study results were primarily based on queries
of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Arrival-Departure
Information System (ADIS) and Automated Targeting System (ATS)
records. Phone calls were also made to the residential and
business numbers of each of the individuals included in the
study. Based on the results, there was a five (5) percent
overstay rate. Sixteen percent of visa recipients had not yet
utilized their visas at the time the validation study was
conducted. End Summary.

2. The validation study was restricted to B1/B2 visas issued to
Indonesian applicants and did not include third country
nationals. The sample was selected from issuances during the
six-month period from December 1, 2006, to May 31, 2007.
Therefore, those individuals who planned to travel within six
months of visa issuance should have returned to Indonesia before
electronic departure records were reviewed in July 2008. There
were a total of 2,314 B1/B2 visas issued during the study
period. Although the sample size was not 800 as suggested in
CA/FPP instructions, the validation study sample was compiled
based on the instructions contained in the CA/FPP document, "How
to use the CCD Reports and Excel Spreadsheet to General Random
Samples of Visa Applicants for Use in a Validation Study." A
total of 584 visa issuances were included in the sample,
providing a confidence level of 95 percent and a confidence
interval of +/- 2.1 based on a projected overstay rate of 10

3. Either the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) records or
the Non-Immigrant Visa Application forms of all visa recipients
included in the sample were reviewed by consular staff. The
Office of Fraud Prevention Programs in the Bureau of Consular
Affairs (CA/FPP) reviewed DHS Arrival-Departure Information
System (ADIS) and Automated Targeting System (ATS) records for
all visa recipients included in the study. Consular Section
staff also divided the issuance records and made phone calls to
the residential and business numbers included on the visa
application forms. DHS records were very valuable in conducting
the validation study and, in most cases, either ADIS or ATS were
able to provide the necessary records to confirm arrival and
departure. In a few cases, phone calls were successful in
confirming a visa holder's return to Indonesia when no ADIS or
ATS departure records were available. Additionally, there were
several inconclusive cases in which no departure records existed
and phone calls were also unsuccessful in confirming the
whereabouts of the visa holders, cases which were counted as
confirmed non-returns by post.

4. Table of Findings:

Confirmed Overstay: 5 percent (29 total)
Confirmed Return: 79 percent (462 total)
Never Traveled: 16 percent (93 total)
Total Sample: 100 percent (584 total)

5. The validation study results demonstrated an overstay rate
of five (5) percent. Sixteen (16) percent were determined to
have never used their U.S. visas. Among the confirmed
overstays, 50 percent were female and 50 percent were male.
Additionally, 50 percent of overstays were single, 39 percent
were married, and 11 percent were either widowed or divorced.
The most prominent age group among those confirmed as overstays
were those more than 50 years of age, accounting for 41 percent
of overstays; nine of whom were married and three of whom were
either divorced or widowed. Approximately 42 percent of those
over the age of 50 who overstayed their visas reported having at
least one child in the United States. The next most significant
age group for overstays was those age 20 to 29. This group
accounted for 38 percent of overstays and were all single.
Among the total of 29 overstays, 21 percent had previously
traveled to the United States compared to 34 percent of the
total sample.

Comparison with Past Validation Study
--------------------------------------------- -----
6. The previous validation study (Ref A), which was conducted
in 2007, sampled B1/B2 visas issued during the six month period
from December 1, 2005, to May 31, 2006. That validation study
used a sample size of 176 issuances and relied primarily on
phone calls to verify returns. Based on the 2007 validation

SURABAYA 00000103 002 OF 002

study, there was a 6.8 percent confirmed overstay rate. The
current 2008 validation study, which covered the six month
period from December 1, 2006, to May 31, 2007, and demonstrated
a confirmed overstay rate of five (5) percent, is considered to
be a more accurate study due to the use of a larger sample size
and reliance on DHS arrival and departure records as well as
phone calls. The adjusted refusal rate B1/B2 visas adjudicated
in Surabaya during the most recent validation study period was
42 percent compared to an adjusted refusal rate of 36 percent
during the previous validation study period.

7. Post believes the results of the latest B1/B2 validation
study and the confirmed overstay rate of five (5) percent
indicate that adjudication standards are generally appropriate.
The confirmed overstay rate was slightly better than the target
in the 2010 Mission Strategic Plan of six (6) percent for 2008.
The study demonstrated, however, that applicants over the age of
50 as well as single applicants between the age of 20 and 29 may
deserve closer scrutiny. Lastly, Post would like to thank
Jakarta Consular Officer Pablo Valdez for his help in setting up
the validation study and generating the random sample used for
the study.

© Scoop Media

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