Following the inclusion of Nigeria among the six new countries to face US visa restrictions by the Donald Trump administration, there has been apprehension that Nigerians might not be able to travel to the country again. That, however, is not the case as the restriction will affect only migrant visa applicants.
The administration has said US embassies in Abuja and Lagos will continue to process student visas, temporary visitor visas, and travel documents for refugee asylum seekers.
Apart from Nigeria, the other countries affected by the new restrictions include Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Sudan, and Tanzania.
The Trump administration said the ban, which takes effect from February 22, 2020, is aimed at tightening security for countries that don’t comply with the US minimum security standards or cooperate to prevent illegal immigration.
According to US officials, the affected countries have shown lack of capacity in addressing US security concerns in the way they (a) track their own citizens who emigrate, (b) share information with the U.S. and (c) cooperate on immigration matters.”
In addition to travel restrictions, citizens of Sudan and Tanzania have also been barred from participating in the US visa lottery, a programme under which 50,000 immigrants are allowed to emigrate to the United States each year.
US embassies in Abuja and Lagos will continue to process student visas, temporary visitor visas, and travel documents for refugee asylum seekers. And anyone who already has a valid immigrant visa or is on their way to the US with an immigrant visa will not be affected by the ban.