New US Visa Rules as of December 2020


President Donald Trump will be in office until January 20, 2021. However, he made some changes since the election. One of the changes includes the announcement of a temporary set of new US visa rules. The new policy requires tourists and travelers from specifically two dozen countries to pay a refundable bond of up to $15,000 to visit the USA. This new policy is temporary and is mostly aimed at African countries. Set to take effect from December 24, 2020, these new USA visa rules aim to limit travelers from countries with a higher rate of overstaying in the US. Now that Trump will no longer be the President, his policies similar to this new one will supposedly go through changes under the administration of newly elected President Joe Biden. The new President has formerly expressed displeasure over Trump's discriminatory policies that target particular ethnicities. However, there is no current word from the new administration regarding Trump's temporary visa bond policy.


Affected Countries and Reason behind the Policy

The number of countries that are targeted in this policy amounts to 24. 16 of these countries are African, namely Angola, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Guinea Bissau, Libya, Sao Tome, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Gambia, Liberia, Mauritania, and Principe.

Others include Afghanistan, Burma, Laos, Syria, Bhutan, Iran, Papua New Guinea, and Yemen.

The temporary visa bond rule states that the reason behind this new policy is to send a message to certain nations. Nations that send travelers with high rates of overstays are specifically targeted. Hence, the US's former administration took this step to urge foreign governments to take notice of their nationals. The rule enables consular officers to demand a bond after carefully analyzing the probability of the visa applicant overstaying.


Conclusion

The USA's new visa rules are set to be in function starting from December and would be active till June of 2021. This latest visa bound rule requires tourists from 24 countries to pay a refundable bond of $5000, $10,000, or $15,000. This set of visa rules is similar to the work visa USA rules presented by Trump in the past and targets visitors with an overstay rate of 10% or more. While the change caused by this policy is expected to be small, the main purpose, according to Trump's administration, was to send a message. The policy's duration itself is just six months and will not affect student visa USA rules.

Historically, most of Trump's tourist visa USA rules were permanent and aimed to limit travelers from mostly Muslim majority countries. These policies have met outrage and negative response from human-rights activists all over the country. However, newly elected President Joe Biden looks forward to putting Trump's policies and bans for designated groups to an end.


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