The outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump issued a brand new momentary rule that would require vacationer and enterprise travellers from two dozen international locations – most in Africa – to pay a bond of as a lot as $15,000 to go to the USA.
The US State Division on Monday stated the momentary ultimate rule, which takes impact December 24 and runs by way of June 24, targets international locations whose nationals have larger charges of overstaying B-2 visas for vacationers and B-1 visas for enterprise travellers.
The Trump administration stated the six-month pilot programme goals to check the feasibility of amassing such bonds and can function a diplomatic deterrence to overstaying the visas.
“The Pilot Program is designed to use to nationals of specified international locations with excessive overstay charges to function a diplomatic device to encourage international governments to take all acceptable actions to make sure their nationals well timed depart the USA after making momentary visits,” based on the State Division doc.
Trump, who misplaced a re-election bid earlier this month, made proscribing immigration a spotlight of his four-year time period in workplace. President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, has pledged to reverse most of the Republican president’s immigration insurance policies, however untangling a whole bunch of modifications might take months or years.
Biden’s transition staff didn’t instantly reply to a Reuters request for remark associated to the visa bond requirement.
However in earlier feedback, Biden has stated that “on day one” he would revoke Trump’s journey restrictions – typically referred to as the “Muslim Ban” – which impacts nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, in addition to residents from Venezuela, North Korea, Nigeria, Sudan and Myanmar.
Trump signed the journey ban by means of govt order in 2017, in a transfer that drew widespread outrage from activists and rights teams who accused the Trump administration of discrimination and racism.
This newest visa bond rule will permit US consular officers to require vacationer and enterprise travellers from international locations whose nationals had an “overstay charge” of 10 p.c or larger in 2019 to pay a refundable bond of $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000.
Twenty-four international locations meet that criterion, together with 15 African international locations. Whereas these nations had larger charges of overstays, they despatched comparatively few travellers to the US.
Traditionally, US consular officers have been discouraged from requiring travellers to the US to put up a bond, with State Division steerage saying processing of the bonds can be “cumbersome”, the momentary rule stated.
Based on the doc, international locations whose vacationer and enterprise travellers may very well be topic to the bond requirement embody these from Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Mauritania, Eritrea and Sudan. Different international locations embody Angola, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, in addition to Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Laos, Liberia, Myanmar (Burma), Papua New Guinea, and Sao Tome and Principe.