US says visa applicants denied due to Trump 'Muslim ban' can reapply

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2021 10:54 AM

A woman poses her daughters at the wall fencing off the White House under a sign they made that says "daughter of immigrants" after news media declared Democratic candidate Joe Biden to be the winner of the 2020 US presidential election, at BLM Plaza in Washington, DC, US, November 7, 2020. Leah Millis, Reuters/File

WASHINGTON - Most US visa applicants who were denied because of former President Donald Trump's travel ban on 13 mostly Muslim-majority and African countries can seek new decisions or submit new applications, the State Department said on Monday.

President Joe Biden overturned Trump's so-called Muslim ban on Jan. 20, his first day in office, calling it "a stain on our national conscience" in his proclamation.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said applicants who were refused visas prior to January 20, 2020, must submit new applications and pay a new application fee. 

Those who were denied on or after January 20, 2020, may seek reconsideration without re-submitting their applications and do not have to pay additional fees, Price said.

Applicants selected in the diversity visa lottery prior to the current fiscal year are barred by US law from being issued visas if they have not gotten them already, he said. The diversity lottery aims to accept immigrants from countries that are not normally awarded many visas.

Since December 2017, after a revised version of the original travel ban was upheld by the US Supreme Court, some 40,000 people have been barred from entering the United States under the ban, according to State Department data.

During the Trump administration some countries were added and others dropped from the list. At the end of Trump's presidency it comprised Myanmar, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela and Yemen.

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