Photo Credit: Photo by Stephen Welstead
Travelers From These Countries May Have To Pay Up To $15K To Enter U.S.
If we haven’t learned anything else, what we do know is that the Trump administration is consistent in being discriminatory toward those from African and East Asian nations. Last week, the State Department implemented a new visa rule that could force travelers to pay a bond of up to $15,000 just to enter the United States.
The State Department claims that the rule was put into place to send a message to those who are known to “overstay their welcome” in the country.
Of course, the rule heavily affects those from African and East Asian countries, with 15 of the 23 nations being those in Africa.
“The Pilot Program is designed to apply to nationals of specified countries with high overstay rates to serve as a diplomatic tool to encourage foreign governments to take all appropriate actions to ensure their nationals timely depart the United States after making temporary visits,” the rule states.
The rule, which goes into effect Dec. 24, requires applicants for B-1 and B-2 visas who hail from the selected countries to pay a $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 bond. Those selected countries are Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe. Sudan, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Iran, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Syria and Yemen.
Consular agents are given the discretion on the amount to charge, with $10,000 being the base. The bond can drop to $5,000 if they feel like the person cannot afford it, and it can increase for the opposite reason. It is said that if the person exits the U.S. within the allotted time under their visa, they will get the money back. If not, they forfeit the bond.
Many feel this rule is unfair and are hopeful that once the Biden administration takes office, it will be overturned.