The United States has issued a visa rule that requires tourists and business travellers in certain countries to pay a bond of up to $15 000 in addition to the visa fees.
The outgoing administration of United States President, Donald Trump, on Monday the 23rd of November 2020, issued a new temporary visa rule that requires tourist and business travellers from 15 African countries as well as other countries to pay a bond of up to $15 000 in addition to the visa fees, which ranges from $16 to $300, in order to visit the United States.
The United Sates department stated that the visa bond pilot programme, which is expected to be in effect from the 24th of December 2020 and will end on the 24th of June 2020.
This bond is targeted at countries whose citizens have higher rates of overstaying B-2 visas for tourists and B-1 visas for business travellers.
The Trump administration stated that the six month pilot programme aims to test the practicality of collecting such bonds and will aid as a diplomatic deterrence to overstaying the visas, because overstay puts significant pressure on the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.
The visa bond rule will permit United States consular officers to request tourist and business travellers from countries whose nationals had an overstay rate of 10% and above in 2019 to pay a refundable bond of $5 000, $10 000, or $15 000.
The countries whose tourist and business travellers are included in this category and are subjected to the bond requirements are 24 countries, these include 15 African countries.
These nations had higher rates of over stayers however they sent fewer travellers to the United States.
The countries include Afghanistan, Angola, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), Djibouti, Eritrea, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Laos, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Nigerian travellers escaped paying the temporary visa rule, as their overall score was below the threshold of 10% and above overstaying rate.