(Ecofin Agency) - Citizens from 15 African countries will now have to pay a visa bond ranging between $5,000 to $15,000 in addition to visa fees to travel to the US, the Trump administration announced on November 23.
To justify this highly criticized decision, the US Department of State says it is only imposed on countries whose outstay rate exceeds 10% of travelers. As a reminder, the US administration has, over the past four years, strived to keep an eye on immigration, mainly from Africa. Last September, the US Department of Homeland Security proposed a draft bill to limit to two years the possibility of stay for some students from 59 countries worldwide, including 36 in Africa.
When the outgoing President came to power, he decided to limit travel for nationals of certain African countries; the decision was later extended to Nigeria, the continent's largest economy by GDP.
The new visa bond decision is imposed on Angola, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Libya, Burundi, Eritrea, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Gambia, Sao Tome and Principe, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan.
Considering the reason given by the administration for this decision, the likelihood that President-elect Joe Biden will remove it when he takes office is quite low. Let’s note that the decision is a 6-month pilot program that may be renewable.