The US launches pilot program on visa liens

The program may include foreigners applying for a visa for business and tourist trips from countries whose residents most often violate the limits of their stay in the United States.

The United States is launching a pilot program to issue nonimmigrant visas to residents of several countries, including Iran and Syria, after paying a certain Deposit, which will be returned after leaving the United States on time. The corresponding notification of the state Department was posted on Monday in electronic form in the Federal register-a collection of the US government’s official documents.

“The purpose of the pilot program is to evaluate the practical implementation of the Deposit, processing, and repayment of visa liens in coordination with the Department of homeland security to help assess the burden on government agencies and identify any practical problems related to visa liens,” the document says.

The program can apply for a visa for business and tourist trips (B1/B2) foreigners from countries whose residents “most often violate the limits of stay” in the United States. As noted in the document, we are talking about Angola, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Bhutan, Cape Verde, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Laos, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen.

According to the US authorities, the program should be “a diplomatic tool designed to encourage foreign governments to take all necessary measures to ensure the timely departure of their citizens from the United States after the end of temporary trips.” Funds deposited by a foreigner-in case of violation of the terms of stay in the United States-will be withdrawn in favor of the state. If he left the country on time, the money would be refunded.

The American Consulate’s amount of bail will be determined in a particular country; it can be $5 thousand, $10 thousand, or $15 thousand. According to the document, in some situations, diplomats may not even charge a Deposit from foreigners “depending on the circumstances in which the applicant is applying for a visa.” The pilot program’s duration will be six months: it will start on December 24, 2020, and end on June 24, 2021.

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