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Cablegate: Argentina: B-Referral Validation Study

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1312 3371155
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031154Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0135
INFO RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001312

SIPDIS
DEPT FOR CA/FPP, DS/ICI/CR
POSTS FOR FRAUD PREVENTION MANAGERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS KFRD AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINA: B-REFERRAL VALIDATION STUDY

REF: 04 STATE 172283

1. SUMMARY: In September 2009 the Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU)
conducted a validation study of all B-referral visa applicants
issued in FY2007 and FY2008, and found the illegal overstay rate to
be 0.09 percent, with only one of the 1,072 applicants overstaying.
The low overstay rate shows that the pool of applicants referred by
the Embassy sections appear to be well-qualified. END SUMMARY.

2. Methodology and Definitions: To prepare the B-referrals
sample, FPU exported data on all B-referral issuances during FY2007
and FY2008 from the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) into an
Excel spreadsheet file. FPU sent the total sample to CA/FPP for a
batch check against the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS)
Arrival and Departure Information System (ADIS) database. DHS
provided the entry, exit and any change of status information for
each applicant.


3. CA/FPP returned the results of the data query to FPU, including
the results from the Automated Targeting System (ATS) I-94 check,
which has a separate repository for exit data. According to
CA/FPP's definitions, issuances with corresponding ADIS entry and
departure records, without overstays, including those with DHS
extensions of stay, are considered good return travelers. While
not definitive proof, the absence of a departure record in ADIS is
seen as an indicator that a person may have overstayed their visa.
After narrowing down the information received in both the ADIS and
ATS spreadsheets, FPU found only 14 unconfirmed overstay cases.
FPU contacted each person by phone, and found that only one
applicant remained in the U.S. and is, according to her brother,
currently working there.


4. COMMENT: This validation study confirmed a steady trend of
good travel by B-referrals over the past several years; a similar
validation study of nearly 800 B-referrals in FY2006 also revealed
only one overstay. Embassy B- referrals appear to be highly
qualified applicants. ADIS results showed that 99 percent of the
applicants have traveled several times to the U.S. after their
visas were issued at Post. END COMMENT.

MARTINEZ
MARTINEZ

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