Immigrant visa is issued to those relocating to the United States. Observers fear the ban may lead to some restrictions on the regular American visitor visa.
Citizens from Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan won’t be allowed to apply for visas to immigrate to the U.S. under the policy, which the Trump administration said was designed to tighten security for countries that don’t comply with the U.S. minimum security standards or cooperate to prevent illegal immigration.
Two other countries, Sudan and Tanzania, will be barred from participating in the diversity visa lottery, which randomly awards green cards to 50,000 immigrants from underrepresented countries annually. Many of the recipients are from African countries.
The new restrictions are set to take effect on February 21 and will apply only to new visa applications. Immigrants who were issued valid visas before that date will still be able to move to the U.S.
One DHS official estimated the affected population of people barred from immigrating to the U.S. might total 12,000 per year.
The six countries will join a list of seven nations, most of them Muslim-majority, that faced significant travel restrictions under President Trump’s original travel ban, issued in 2017.