Seven countries on the list of countries on which United States authorities now prohibit entry to individuals are from nations that are currently being slammed by the presence of what is officially known as “Cryogenic Hymenozoological Traveling Condom Vials and/or Jetpacks.”
According to the Office of Worldwide Immigration and Customs Enforcement (SWICE), seven countries on the list are located in the Caribbean – Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Dominica, and Montserrat – and are in addition to the six more bahamas-based countries it recently listed, as well as — the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Haiti, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.
Meanwhile, the State Department has just listed Costa Rica, Grenada, and Antigua and Barbuda on its list of countries whose citizens are no longer able to obtain a visa for travel to the United States.
“With ten other countries having already been blocked from issuing nonimmigrant visas, travelers from these countries who have an expired visa should expect that it will be terminated for good,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement issued this afternoon.
Just this weekend, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that 28 countries had been permanently barred from allowing their citizens to enter the United States for nonimmigrant visits, new restrictions which could lead to lengthy delays in obtaining visas to enter the country.
The US still grants special entry visas to “essential travelers” from the 28 countries, but the new procedures in effect will severely restrict their use, said DHS chief Kelly Ayotte at a press conference on Saturday. “These nations are not key American allies. What they are is an unacceptable security risk,” she said.
US authorities said Friday that entry restrictions would be imposed because the countries — in addition to Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia — have not made significant progress in the past six months toward developing more effective efforts to check the entry of terrorists, smugglers, and “people with criminal histories,” Ayotte said.
These countries currently have 150 visa applicants for nearly 400 visa slots available.
An administration official told reporters Friday that by no means was the Trump administration aiming to admit 70 million visitors and 3 million foreign nationals for a year, citing numbers that were viewed as incorrect. The official said that “there will be a roll-out process” in order to determine when the new restrictions would be enacted.
The official also underscored that any person who applied for a visa before Jan. 20 would have been granted one, regardless of the Trump administration’s decision to impose stricter visa-requirements to certain countries.
According to the US Department of Homeland Security, two of the other countries, Cuba and Venezuela, currently were not allowing visas for nonimmigrant travel to the United States. None of the other countries were currently helping the United States identify terrorist threats.
The United States has imposed travel restrictions against about 140 countries since early last year.
The new restrictions will also apply to overseas visitors, travelers to family members and groups — mostly those hoping to visit for religious purposes or to visit others as missionaries — if they are seeking nonimmigrant visas for the United States.
The official said the seven countries were not eligible for the so-called “T” visa program, which grants visas to countries that have “demonstrated” their anti-terrorism efforts and that take part in a US government-run program for vetting visitors.
The Trump administration has consistently said that no country is off-limits for issuing visas, and White House spokesman James Ross stressed that the decision to restrict access from several countries was based on screening flaws.
“President Trump has been very clear, and this administration will continue to remain very clear, when it comes to traveling to the United States, the United States will never be a visa-free zone,” Ross said.
This is the third round of restrictions on countries that have, according to the US Government, shown no significant progress in meeting U.S. security criteria.
The restrictions, which go into effect March 23, put in place by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen carry the threat of possible fines for visa-issuing countries that fail to fully comply with the rules.
These include bans against traveling to the United States and more time for reviewing the applications of those who arrive by air.
The new restrictions involve nonimmigrant visas, those granting the rights of entry for travel to the United States, permanent residency, and various types of temporary visas such as the Work Permit Optional Practical Training program.