4,644 Permanent Visas issued to Guyana last year
Guyana continues to register thousands of green cards issuance. In 2014, the number of immigration visas issued to Guyana was 4,644.
This means that these Guyanese were granted permanent resident status and are now “green card” holders.
This figure was slightly lower than that of 2013 when 4,750 immigration visas were issues.
According to the fiscal year report for Guyana, 1,517 visas were issued to immediate relatives while 3,631 were under the Family Preference category.
Guyana had the third highest number of immigrants under the Family Preference category in all of South America—3,775, just behind Colombia with 3,838; and Ecuador 3,898. However, these countries have notably higher populations; the population of Ecuador is 16 million while Colombia’s population is 49.4 million.
Further, employment preference and diversity immigrants were 11 and 26 respectively. No visas were issued for special immigrants.
Over the past five years, Guyana has registered no fewer than the 4,394 issued in 2012. The highest issuance of visas in the past half-decade was in 2010; then, 5,185 immigration visas were issued. Meanwhile, in 2011 a total of 4,934 visas were issued and in 2013 the number stood at 4,750.
In relation to the rest of the South American continent, Guyana has ranked consistently high in terms of issuances of visas. From 2010 through 2013, Guyana was the fourth highest country issued immigration visas. The nation was repeatedly topped by Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. However, in 2014, Guyana surpassed Peru by 495 visas.
Similarly, over the past five years Guyana has consistently ranked fourth in the Caribbean in terms of visa issuances. Guyana was topped by the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica. However, the difference of Guyana’s numbers in the Caribbean is much higher than the disparity in South America.
Guyana has long been identified as a country with high migration rates. During a recent interview, ChargÉ d’Affaires of the United States Embassy, Bryan Hunt, opined that Guyana has a higher than average rate of migration when compared to its size. This is in comparison with other countries of similar economic status and population.
Guyana’s population is just about 745,000 persons.
Hunt added that many of these figures represent applications filed 5 to 15 years ago.
Furthermore, Hunt said that these figures do not necessarily mean that those that have been granted visas have “wiped the Guyana dirt from their feet”; many of them, he said, spent most of their time in Guyana and only travel to keep the green card alive. With this, they are able to enjoy dual citizenship.
Meanwhile, there was also a marked increase in the number of non-immigrant visas issued. Last year, 17,284 non-immigrant visas were issued by the Guyana Embassy. In 2005 a total of 3,852 non- immigrant visas were issued. This number dropped to 2,570 in 2007.
Additionally, Guyanese retirees generally return home at the end of their working days in the United States. According to Hunt, about 99% of Guyanese return home. He also said that there is a high rejection rate for the visitors’ visas.
Efforts are being made to collect figures for Britain, Canada and the Caribbean.