U.S. to refuse visa applications from 4 countries in deportation crackdown

Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, addresses the Spruce Meadows Roundtable, in Calgary, Canada, Friday, Sept. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/CP, Jeff McIntosh)

In the latest demonstration to crack down on illegal immigrants, the U.S. State Department will from Wednesday stop issuing certain kinds of visas to selected citizens of Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea and Sierra Leone due to the affected nations refusal to take back US deportees.

According to Reuters, the new policy sent out in cables by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to consular officials around the world, said the four countries were “denying or unreasonably delaying” the return of their citizens from the United States, and that the new decision will be lifted in a country if it accepted its deportees.

The visa sanctions which will go into effect on Wednesday vary in severity with respect to each country with Eritrea facing the harshest sanctions.

• The provision for Eritrea

The cable stated that any Eritrean who apply in their own country for most U.S. business or tourist visas to the United States will be rejected.

• In Guinea

Another cable said, The United States will no longer issue a range of tourist, business and student visas to government officials and their immediate family members who apply from inside the country.

• In Cambodia

Cambodia sanction differs, only Foreign Ministry employees at or above the rank of director general, and their families, who apply inside the country will be barred from getting some visas for personal travel, the third cable said.

• Sierra Leone sanction

According to the fourth cable, Sierra Leone sanctions will see only Foreign Ministry and immigration officials denied tourist and business visas at the U.S. Embassy in Freetown.

However, there are exceptions which will honour application from citizens of the four nations who apply for visas from outside their countries, as well as exceptions on humanitarian grounds or for travel “deemed in the interest of the United States”. Also, the new policy will not affect visas already granted.

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