Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The United States government has revealed its plans to add seven countries to a group of nations subject to travel restrictions, including Nigeria.
Accordingly to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), some countries could be banned from participating in the diversity visa lottery programme, which awards green cards to people in countries with low levels of immigration to the US.
It added that Nigeria could be on the list because it has a high rate of persons overstaying their visas.
In the 2018 fiscal year, 24 per cent of Eritreans on business or visitor visas overstayed their permits, along with 15 per cent of Nigerians and 12 per cent of people from Sudan. Those compared with a total overstay rate in the category of 1.9 per cent.
The report added: “The Trump administration plans to add seven countries to a group of nations subject to travel restrictions, including Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, along with others in Africa and Asia, according to administration officials who have seen the list.
“The new restrictions would apply to travellers and immigrants from Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania. The countries wouldn’t necessarily face blanket bans on travel to the US, but could have restrictions placed on specific types of visas, such as business or visitor visas.”
Unlike the initial travel ban list of 2017, most of the new countries don’t have majority-Muslim populations. Several of them, however, have had relatively higher rates of their citizens overstaying visas in the US, according to DHS data.