The US Department of States on Monday has announced that visa applicants affected by Trump’s travel ban could now reapply.
The travel ban was legislated by the past administration; involved thirteen (13) mostly Muslim, and Africans countries.
US president Joe Biden had revoked Trump’s travel ban on his first day in office, calling it “a stain on our national conscience,” and instructed the State Department 45 days to come up with a plan that would allow individuals from the affected countries to have their visa application reconsidered.
However, following a legal review; Ned Price, State department spokesperson said on Monday that those whose immigrant visa application received a final refusal on or after January 20, 2020 due to Trump’s travel ban “may seek re-adjudiction” without resubmitting their application forms or paying any additional fees provided the underlying visa petition remains valid.
Similarly, those who were denied visa prior to Jan 20, 2021 “may also be reconsidered, but they have to submit new applications and pay new application fees”, An applicants previous denial under Trump’s travel ban will not be held against them.
Price said “those who were selected in diversity visa lottery during the fiscal years of Trump administration are still banned from being issued visas if they have not gotten them already; because, the deadlines for visa issuance in those fiscal years have expired “.
Which implies they are eligible for diversity visa lottery again, but have no redress for their denial under Trump travel ban. The diversity visa lottery aims to accept applicants from nations with historically low rates of immigration to the United States.
According to the figures released by the State Department, more than 41,000 people had been denied entry to the United States during Trump’s administration.
There have been various versions of ban, with countries added or dropped from the list. Countries included at the end of Trump’s presidency are Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela and Yemen.
Lolo Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News