All Africans and other US visa applicants whose applications were rejected under former President Donald Trump’s controversial ban on travellers from 13 mostly Muslim-majority and African nations can now make fresh applications, the U.S. Department of State has said.
President Joe Biden on January 20 signed Proclamation 10141, “Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States.”
“President Biden has made clear that the now-rescinded Proclamations 9645 and 9983 were a stain on our national conscience, contravened our values, jeopardized our alliances and partnerships, separated loved ones, and undermined our national security,” Ned Price, Department Spokesperson said while making the announcement.
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Under the new rules, visa applicants from the affected countries may no longer be denied on the basis of nationality.
The Department of State said it had taken a number of steps to ensure that applicants previously refused visas under Proclamations 9645 and 9983 will not have future visa applications prejudiced in any way by those prior decisions.
“Those whose immigrant visa applications received a final refusal on or after January 20, 2020 due to the Proclamations may seek re-adjudication without resubmitting their application forms or paying any additional fees, provided the underlying visa petitions remain valid. Under current regulations, those whose immigrant visa applications were denied prior to January 20, 2020 may also be reconsidered, but these individuals must submit new applications and pay a new application fee,” Price said.
Trump’s travel ban denied more than 40,000 people entry into the US since December 2017. The countries included at the end of Trump’s presidency were Nigeria, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Myanmar, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and Venezuela.