During 2009, there were 163,000,000 non immigrant admissions to the United States according to Department of Homeland Security I-94 records. These entries included tourists, business travelers, students, H 1B temporary workers and relatives of United States citizens.
Between 2008 and 2009, I-94 admissions decreased 8% from 39.4 million to 36.2 million. This is the first decrease in five years. Although non immigrant admissions declined after September 11, 2001, they recovered to pre 2001 levels by 2006 and reached a record in 2008. During the 20 year period from 1989 to 2009, the annual number of admissions more than doubled from 16 to 36 million.
H-1B admissions decreased 17% from 2008. Similarly, entries of seasonal workers on H-2B visas declined 48% from 2008. Student visa admissions (F-1) rose 3.8% from 2008 to 2009.
Entries of intracompany transferees (L-1) fell 13% from 2008 to 2009. And J-1, exchange visitor admissions, decreased by 10% during the same period.
The decrease in temporary worker admissions may be due to several factors, including significant upheaval in the U.S. job market and high rates of unemployment for native born workers. In addition, scrutiny of immigrant visa applications in the United States and abroad has heightened and led to fewer approvals and longer processing times.
The leading countries of citizenship for non immigrant admissions to the United States in 2009 were Mexico (12%), India (11%), Japan (6.6%), Canada (6.4%), China (5.8%), the United Kingdom (5.6%) and South Korea (5.6%). These seven countries accounted for more than 50% of the non immigrant admissions in 2009.
To view the complete report from USCIS, click here.