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Cablegate: Ukraine: 2009 Summer Work and Travel Validation Study

VZCZCXRO0298
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHSK RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHKV #2169/01 3521242
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181242Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8996
RUEHPNH/NVC PORTSMOUTH 0039
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 002169

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR CA/FPP (BILLINGSR), CA/VO/F/P, DS/CR/VG, EUR/UMB, G/TIP
DEPT ALSO PASS TO KCC
DHS FOR CIS/FDNS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS KFRD CPAS CMGT ASEC UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: 2009 SUMMER WORK AND TRAVEL VALIDATION STUDY
RESULTS-OVERSTAYS UP

REF: A) KYIV 1102 B) KYIV 1271

1. (U) SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.

2. (SBU) Summary: Embassy Kyiv concluded a validation study of J1
summer work and travel/camp counselor ("SWT") visas issued for the
2009 program. During this time period, Post issued 7011 SWT visas.
The validation study showed a total overstay rate of 11.3 percent,
with a 3.8 percent margin of error. The overstay rate following the
2008 SWT season was 6.4, while the overstay rate from the 2007 SWT
season was 14.3 percent. Thus, Post experienced an increase in the
SWT overstay rate this season, although the rate was still lower
than the 2007 season. This trend tracks with the economic
fluctuations in Ukraine. Ukraine was at the peak of its economic
growthin 2008, but by the beginning of the 2009 season was
suffering the effects of the worst economic contraction in the
Central and Eastern Europe (Ref A). End summary.

SAMPLE, DATA COLLECTION, AND METHODOLOGY

3. (U) Post conducted its validation study on 608 randomly selected
applicants from the pool of 7011 J1 SWT issuances from January 13 to
June 20, 2009. Post submitted the sample group to CA/FPPfor
computer verification of entry/exit records. In two cases (.3
percent), computer records showed no travel by the applicant. Post
refused approximately 1200 SWT applicants (15 percent of all SWT
applicants) during the 2009 season, most often because the
applicants failed to demonstrate sufficient ability to speak
English. (Ref B) The validation study was conducted with a 95
percent confidence rate and a margin of error of 3.8 percent.

RESULTS

4. (U) As of November 19, 2009, Post confirmed that 11.3 percent (69
out of the 608 in the sample) of applicants issued during the study
period stayed in the United States. Most of these overstays (41 out
of 69, or 6.7 percent of the total study sample) were "illegal"
overstays, meaning the applicants in question did not adjust status.
The remaining 28 adjusted to B2 status, F1 status, or were pending
an adjustment at the conclusion of the study period.

5. (U) The 11.3 percent overstay rate reflects a dramatic increase
from last year's SWT overstay rate of 6.4 percent (2.8 percent
illegal, 3.5 percent legal), but a decrease over the 2007 SWT
overstay rate of 14.3 percent (7.7 percent illegal, 6.6 percent
legal).

PROFILE OF TRAVELERS WHO OVERSTAYED

6. (SBU) Participants who overstayed in 2009 were more likely to be
repeat SWT participants, female, from more economically depressed
regions in western and central Ukraine, and/or in their fourth or
fifth year of university. (Note: In the Ukrainian system, the final
year of university could be either the fourth or fifth year. End
note.) Nearly half of all students who stayed in the United States
were humanities majors, and students intending to work in warmer
southern or western states were more likely to overstay.

7. (SBU) Post reports below the statistics concerning the 2009 SWT
travelers who stayed in the United States. The first column contains
the demographic category in question; the second column contains the
percentage of the study sample comprised of this demographic; the
third column contains the percentage of this demographic that
overstayed; and the fourth column contains the percentage of all
overstays represented by the demographic in question.

Gender: Pct. Pct. who Pct. of all
of sample: overstayed: overstays:

Male 42.4 7.4 37.7
Female 57.6 6.6 62.3

Year in Univ.:

1st-year student 1.0 16.7 1.4
2nd-year student 28.9 6.3 15.9
3rd-year student 43.1 7.3 27.5
4th-year student 16.3 22.2 31.9
5th-year student 10.5 23.4 21.7
6th-year student .2 100.0 1.4

Major:

Humanities 41.8 12.6 46.4
Business 34.4 7.7 23.2

KYIV 00002169 002 OF 002


Engineering 14.0 12.9 15.9
IT 4.9 16.7 7.2
Science 4.8 13.8 5.8
Agriculture .2 100.0 1.4

Region of
Ukraine:

Zakarpattia .8 60.0 4.3
Chernivtsi 2.0 41.7 7.2
Kirovograd .7 25.0 1.4
Ternopil 4.1 24.0 8.7
Lugansk 3.5 19.0 5.8
Lviv 7.9 16.7 11.6
Mikolaiv 2.0 16.7 2.9
Vinnitsa 1.0 16.7 1.4
Zhitomyr 2.1 15.4 2.9
Kharkiv 8.1 14.3 10.1
Cherkassy 3.5 14.3 4.3
Kherson 2.5 13.3 2.9
Ivano Frankivsk 4.4 11.1 4.3
Poltava 1.5 11.1 1.4
Zaporizhzhya 3.1 10.5 2.9
Sumy 3.9 8.3 2.9
Dnipropetrovsk 6.6 7.5 4.3
Kyiv (incl. city) 24.8 7.3 15.9
Odesa 3.0 5.6 1.4
Donetsk 3.1 5.3 1.4
Crimea 5.4 3.0 1.4
Chernigiv 1.0 0.0 0.0

Top overstay
destinations:

Tennessee 1.0 33.3 2.9
Louisiana 1.2 28.6 2.9
Georgia .7 25.0 1.4
California 3.3 20.0 5.8
Nevada .8 20.0 1.4
Colorado 1.8 18.2 2.9
Massachusetts 3.8 17.4 5.8
Wisconsin 3.0 16.7 4.3
Illinois 1.0 16.7 1.4
Alabama 1.0 16.7 1.4

Post also collected data on overstay rates by student travel agency
and university, to assist future adjudications.

COMMENT

8. (SBU) Comment: Though Post tightened its anti-fraud screening of
applicants this year (Ref B), the overstay rate increased. Post
attributes this increase primarily to the widespread effects of the
economic crisis in Ukraine, which sharply increased unemployment in
Ukraine. (Ref A) Relatively few students remained in the United
States at the height of Ukraine's economic growth in 2008. Post will
use this data to further refine its screening procedures, anti-fraud
efforts, and SWT adjudications in 2010. Post has already initiated
SWT outreach, including new outreach directly to students, to
educate SWT agencies and students about the visa process and the
consequences of fraud. End comment.

TEFFT

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