Prospective tourists and visitors from more than 20 countries, mostly in Africa, could pay as much as a $15,000 bond to obtain a U.S. visa under a new rule from the Trump administration.
The requirements unveiled on Tuesday, the State Department said, are designed to send “a message” to certain nations to encourage their citizens to abide by the conditions of their U.S. visas. The State Department said it selected countries whose citizens have high rates of remaining in the U.S. after their visas have expired.
Under the six-month pilot program starting December 24, U.S. consular officials could start requiring applicants for B-1 and B-2 visas who hail from the selected countries to pay a $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 bond, according to the temporary final rule issued by the State Department.
“The Pilot Program is designed to apply to nationals of specified countries with high overstay rates to serve as a diplomatic tool to encourage foreign governments to take all appropriate actions to ensure their nationals timely depart the United States after making temporary visits,” the rule states.
Of the 23 countries subject to the new rules, 15 are African. They are Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe and Sudan.
Visa-seekers from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Iran, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Syria and Yemen could also be required to pay the bonds.