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US introduces new rule for African tourists

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THE outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump has issued a new temporary rule for African tourists.

  The new rule could require tourists and business travelers from 24 countries, mostly in Africa, to pay a bond of as much as $15,000 to visit United States.

  A release from U.S. State Department said the temporary final rule, which takes effect December 24 and runs through June 24, targets countries whose nationals have higher rates of overstaying B-2 visas for tourists and B-1 visas for business travellers.

  The release further explains that the six-month pilot programme aims to test feasibility of collecting such bonds as well as serving as a diplomatic deterrence to overstaying the visas.

  Countries whose tourist and business travelers could be subject to the bond requirement include those from Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Chad, Angola, Burundi, Djibouti and Eritrea.

  Others are Afghanistan, Bhutan, Iran, Syria, Laos and Yemen.

  It will be recalled that Trump, who lost a re-election bid earlier this month, made restricting immigration a central part of his four-year term in office. But President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to reverse many of Trump’s immigration policies, though untangling hundreds of changes could take months or years.

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