New US Visa Overstay Restrictions Could Hit Africa Hard

With the way the White House is placing travel restrictions on countries with high records of visa overstays, activists have said that asylum seekers from Africa may be suffering its consequences.

New US Visa Overstay Restrictions Could Hit Africa Hard

Recent reports from The Wall Street Journal reveal that the Trump administration was looking at rules that will address the issue of visa overstays from citizens of countries which have high records of overstays on the business and tourist visas — the B1 and B2 visas.

A presidential proclamation will announce the new rules

The newspaper further revealed that the US would issue warnings to the concerned countries to cut down the rates of visa overstays or face the consequences of harder visa procedures and reduced visa validities. According to an official of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), these new rules could be introduced soon through a presidential proclamation.

By this, countries whose citizens have the highest rates of visa overstays would be affected by the rules. Some of these countries with high visa overstay records include Somalia, Eritrea, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Liberia, South Sudan, and Chad.

But overall, Nigeria falls among America's list of top 10 countries with visa overstays. This list covers countries on the Visa Waiver Program — VWP — and the ones that are non-VWP. With the visa waiver program, people whose countries are included on the visa waiver list, can visit the US and stay for up to 90 days without a visa.

The analysis made by the VOA for the 2017 fiscal year shows that Canada, the UK, Mexico, Venezuela, China, Nigeria, Colombia, India, and France individually, have higher overstay figures than the combined figures of the 17 top countries on the visa overstay list.

The B1 and B2 visas are temporary visas for non-immigrant visitors. Despite the fact that the two visas have a lengthy application process, strict regulations, and a $160 fee for applicants from non-VWP countries, the more stringent guidelines will be targeted at individuals who are seeking asylum legally in the US.

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