US Implements Visa Bond on African Countries, Including Libya

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The administration of US President Donald Trump imposed a temporary travel measure for fifteen African countries, including Libya. It requires those coming from the listed countries to submit a deposit of up to $15,000 in order to obtain a visa to travel to the United States for the purpose of work or tourism.

The US State Department clarified on Wednesday that the new travel rule will take effect from 24 December to 24 June 2021. It noted that the African countries affected by the new measure are Libya, Angola, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cape Verde, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, the Gambia, Guinea, Bissau, Liberia, Sudan, Mauritania, and Sao Tome and Principe.

“The purpose of the pilot program is to assess the operational feasibility of posting, processing, and discharging visa bonds in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This is to help assess the burden on government agencies and identify any practical challenges related to visa bonds”, the policy document read.

It added that the temporary rule requires that applicants pay a refundable bond of $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000. “The fees go to the US Customs and Immigration Enforcement Agency directly, and will be fully refundable”, the document added.

The State Department indicated that it will announce any future decision regarding the potential use of these visa documents to address security objectives, national security, and US foreign policy.