Nigeria is set to be hit with travel restrictions by the US government on Monday, January 27, 2020.
Officials of the US President Donald Trump’s administration who have seen the list told the Wall Street Journal that Africa’s most populous country, along with others in Africa and Asia will be affected.
In 2018, the US granted Nigerians almost 14,000 green cards and 222,000 temporary visas. Citizens from other countries on the list, by comparison, were granted a combined total of fewer than 6,000 green cards and 28,000 temporary visas.
The restrictions would also reportedly apply to Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.
The countries wouldn’t necessarily face blanket bans on travel to the U.S., but could have restrictions placed on specific types of visas, such as business or visitor visas, administration officials said.
Some of the countries could be banned from participating in the diversity visa lottery program, which awards green cards to people in countries with low levels of immigration to the US.
President Trump has called for an end to that program, saying it lets undesirable people into the US, and he has proposed reorienting the existing visa system toward skilled workers instead.
The officials said the list isn’t final, and on Tuesday the White House was still debating whether to include one or two of the countries.
The Department of Homeland Security didn’t respond to the Wall Street Journal’s request for comment. The State Department declined to comment.
The administration has said its policy restricting travel is necessary to prevent potential acts of terrorism, as countries on the list don’t adequately vet their travellers to the U.S.