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November 25, 2020

Trump rule requires African tourists to pay up to $15,000 in bonds

World

November 25, 2020

WASHINGTON: The outgoing administration of US President Trump on Monday issued a new temporary rule that could require tourist and business travelers from two dozen countries, most in Africa, to pay a bond of as much as $15,000 to visit the US.

The US State Department said the temporary final rule, which takes effect Dec. 24 and runs through June 24, targets countries whose nationals have higher rates of overstaying B-2 visas for tourists and B-1 visas for business travelers. The Trump administration said the six-month pilot program aims to test the feasibility of collecting such bonds and will serve as a diplomatic deterrence to overstaying the visas. Countries whose tourist and business travelers could be subject to the bond requirement include those from Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Chad, Angola, Burundi, Djibouti and Eritrea. Other countries include Afghanistan, Bhutan, Iran, Syria, Laos and Yemen.

Trump, who lost a re-election bid earlier this month, made restricting immigration a central part of his four-year term in office. President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, has pledged to reverse many of the Republican president’s immigration policies, but untangling hundreds of changes could take months or years. Twenty-four countries meet that criteria, including 15 African countries.While those nations had higher rates of overstays, they sent relatively few travelers to the United States.