The U.S. State Department said on Monday that most U.S. visa applicants who were rejected due to former President Donald Trump’s travel ban on 13 predominantly Muslim-majority African countries can seek new decisions or submit new ones.
During the Trump administration, some countries were added, while others were removed from the list. At the end of Trump’s presidency, Myanmar, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela and Yemen were included.
President Joe Biden reversed Trump’s so-called Muslim ban on the first day of his presidency on January 20, calling it “a stain on our national conscience.”
State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that applicants who were denied visas before January 20, 2020 must submit a new application and pay a new application fee. Price said those who were rejected on or after January 20, 2020 can seek reconsideration without resubmitting their applications and without paying additional fees.
He said that applicants selected for the Diversity Visa Lottery before this fiscal year will be prohibited by U.S. law if they have not yet obtained a visa. The purpose of the diversity lottery is to accept immigrants from countries that do not usually have many visas.
According to data from the US State Department, since December 2017, after the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the revised version of the original travel ban, approximately 40,000 people have been barred from entering the United States under the ban.