By Audrey Lotechukwu
WED, 25 NOV, 2020-theGBJournal- United States of America, Department of State U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria confirmed Tuesday that Nigeria is not included in the six months visa bond pilot programme.
‘’The implementation of this pilot builds on our engagement with foreign governments in recent years and will ensure continued progress to reduce overstay rates. Nigeria is not included in this six months pilot program,’’ the U.S Mission in Nigeria said in a statement seen by theGBJournal.
The Mission explained that visa bond programme is among other efforts to address the challenge of Nonimmigrant Overstay Rates and in response to the April 2019 Presidential Memorandum on Combating High Nonimmigrant overstay rates after the Department and embassies and consulates overseas conducted an in-depth analysis to identify and address root causes of overstays.
The State Department said it is considering additional steps to address overstays, including piloting a limited visa bonds program to test, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the operational feasibility of posting, processing, and discharging visa bonds as means to ensure the timely departure from the United States of certain travellers.
‘’Accordingly, the State Department will begin a limited six-month visa bond pilot program beginning on December 24, 2020. We are committed to combating visa overstays and making sure travelers to the United States respect our laws.’’
The U.S. government Monday issued a new visa rule which requires that travelers from 15 African countries pay a bond of up to $15, 000 in addition to visa fees, before they can visit the U.S. Nigeria was not included in the initial list of countries affected.