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U.S. puts visa sanctions on four countries

Individuals who are seeking a U.S. visa can sometimes encounter barriers to getting the visa they desire. In some instances, they might encounter visa restrictions based on what country they are from. Sometimes, the U.S. will opt to put visa sanctions on a given country. The U.S. recently took such action when it comes to four countries.

The countries in question are Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Cambodia. Last week, the U.S. Department of State put visa restriction policies in place regarding these countries. According to the federal government, the policies were instituted in response to delays/refusals by these countries when it comes to the taking back of their nationals that the U.S. is seeking to deport.

The restrictions put bars on the issuing of certain new visas. They do not impact previously-issued visas.

The restrictions vary between these four countries. For one, they vary in the types of visas they cover. They also vary in how broad they are regarding who they cover. The restriction placed on Eritrea is the broadest, barring the issuing of most new business and tourists visas to the country’s nationals generally. The restrictions on the other three countries are narrower, being limited to certain groups of individuals, such as certain government officials and their families.

Now, there are some exceptions to these restrictions that would allow individuals otherwise covered under them to still be able to qualify for one of the covered visas. This includes exceptions related to:

  • Individuals applying for visas outside their home country.
  • Travel found to be in America’s interests.
  • Humanitarian reasons.

Exceptions are a common part of U.S. immigration law. Many of the barriers and restrictions present in such law when it comes to getting visas have exceptions to them. So, when a person encounters a legal barrier to getting a visa they desire, among the things it can be important for them to be aware of are what exceptions are in place regarding this barrier and whether their situation would fall under one of these exceptions. These are among the topics individuals can go to immigration attorneys for guidance on.

Source: Reuters, “U.S. will not issue some visas in four nations in deportation crackdown,” Arshad Mohammed and Yeganeh Torbati, Sept. 13, 2017

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