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Wednesday, 22 January 2020

US to Place Visa Restriction on Nigeria, Six Others

United States President, Donald Trump, is set to add Nigeria and six others to a new list of countries on America’s visa restriction, Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the report, Nigerians would not be barred from entering the country but would not be issued with certain types of visas.

The Trump administration plans to roll out its expanded travel restrictions on Monday, marking the three-year anniversary of the initial travel ban Trump signed on his seventh day in office, sparking controversy at the beginning of his term.

Unlike the initial travel ban list of 2017, most of the new countries don’t have majority-Muslim populations. Several of them, however, have had relatively higher rates of their citizens overstaying visas in the US, according to DHS data.

The report reads in part, “The Trump administration plans to add seven countries to a group of nations subject to travel restrictions, including Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, along with others in Africa and Asia, according to administration officials who have seen the list.

“The new restrictions would apply to travellers and immigrants from Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania. The countries wouldn’t necessarily face blanket bans on travel to the US, but could have restrictions placed on specific types of visas, such as business or visitor visas, administration officials said.”

Nigeria could be on the list because it has a high rate of persons overstaying their visas.

In the 2018 fiscal year, 24 per cent of Eritreans on business or visitor visas overstayed their permits, along with 15 per cent of Nigerians and 12 per cent of people from Sudan. Those compared with a total overstay rate in the category of 1.9 per cent.

According to WSJ, some countries could be banned from participating in the diversity visa lottery program, which awards green cards to people in countries with low levels of immigration to the US.

President Trump has called for an end to that program, saying it lets undesirable people into the US, and he has proposed reorienting the existing visa system toward skilled workers instead.

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