Nigerians and other non-Americans travelling to the United States will, from December 2020, pay between $5,000 and $15,000 bond.
The new policy by the Trump administration takes effect on December 24, 2020, and will last until June 24, 2021.
The Temporary Final Rule (TFR) is contained in a Department of State Public Notice: 11218 (RIN 1400-AE99).
The rule aims to discourage non-citizens’ to overstay in America.
The notice stated that the programme does not aim to assess whether issuing visa bonds will be effective in reducing the number of aliens who overstay their temporary business tour as visitor/tourist (B-1/B-2) visa.
“Visa applicants potentially subject to the Pilot Program include aliens who: are applying for visas as temporary visitors for business or pleasure (B-1/B-2); are from countries with high visa overstay rates; and already have been approved by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for an inadmissibility waiver,” it said.
The State Department noted that the programme applies to nationals of specified countries with high overstay rates to serve as a diplomatic tool to encourage foreign governments to take all appropriate actions to ensure their nationals timely depart the U.S. after making temporary visits.
“The Pilot Program will run for six months. During that period, consular officers may require non-immigrant visa applicants falling within the scope of the Pilot Program to post a bond in the amount of $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000 as a condition of visa issuance,” it added.
The amount of the bond will be determined by the consular officer based on the circumstances of the visa applicant.
The rule authorises consular officers to require the posting of a Maintenance of Status and Departure Bond (visa bond) by an alien applying for, and otherwise eligible to receive, a business visitor/tourist (B-1/B-2) visa.
The notice said the pilot programme will help the State Department assess the operational feasibility of posting, processing, and discharging visa bonds, in coordination with DHS.
This, it noted, will inform any future decision concerning the possible use of visa bonds to address the national security and foreign policy objectives articulated in the Presidential Memorandum.
“The Presidential Memorandum highlights the fact that visa overstay rates are unacceptably high for nationals of certain countries and concludes that the bond will be invoked on individuals who abuse the visa process and decline to abide by the terms and conditions of their visas, including their visa,” the document added.
An overstay is described as a non-immigrant lawfully admitted to the U.S. for an authorised period, but remains beyond his or her authorized period of admission.
The new policy comes months after America announced a plan to restrict students from Nigeria and others from admission of more than two years.
The DHS proposed a “maximum admission period of up to 2 years for certain students.”