President Donald Trump’s outgoing administration has issued a new temporary rule that could require tourists and business travelers from two dozen countries, mostly in Africa, to pay a refundable bond of $ 5,000, $ 10,000 or $ 15,000 to visit the United States.
The U.S. State Department said Monday that the temporary final rule, which takes effect December 24 and until June 24, targets countries whose nationals have higher rates of 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 deterrent to exceeding visa terms. ”
Trump, who lost his reelection bid earlier this month, has made visa restrictions part of his four-year tenure. President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to overturn many of Trump’s immigration policies when he takes office.
Visa requirement rule will allow US consular officials to require tourists and business travelers from countries whose nationals had a “stay overrun rate” of 10% or more in 2019 to pay a deposit refundable of $ 5,000, $ 10,000 or $ 15,000.
The report indicates that twenty-four countries meet these criteria, including 15 African countries.
Historically, US consular officials have been discouraged from requiring travelers to the United States to post a bond, with the State Department saying the bond processing would be “cumbersome” under the temporary rule.
According to US News, countries whose tourists and business travelers could be subject to the bond requirement include those in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Chad, Angola, Burundi, from Djibouti and Eritrea. Other countries include Afghanistan, Bhutan, Iran, Syria, Laos, and Yemen.