Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has warned its citizens not to travel to the US and says Nigerians with valid visas have been put on the next plane home.Nigeria is not one of the six and it is not clear at this stage whether the Nigerian action is linked to the new travel ban.
During a business trip on March, a Nigerian software engineer Celestine Omin was detained despite holding a valid visa. Before granting him entry, officials at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport forced Omin to answer generic engineering questions to prove his profession.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, a presidential aide on foreign affairs and diaspora, appears to blame such incidents on confusion over US president Donald Trump’s recent failed executive order, which banned visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries. On March 6, Dabiri-Erewa advised prospective visitors to the US to “consider rescheduling their trip until there is clarity on the new immigration policy.”
“In the last few weeks, the office has received a few cases of Nigerians with valid multiple-entry US visas being denied entry and sent back to the Nigeria.”
“In such cases reported to the office, such affected persons were sent back immediately on the next available flight and their visas were cancelled.”
Nigerians are a major source of visitors to the US. They accounted for 32% of the nearly half million nonimmigrant US visas issued to African nationals in 2015.
Trump’s travel ban was revised and re-issued today, March 6. Neither version mentioned Nigeria.
The new order which goes into effect on 16 March, temporarily suspends immigration into the United States from now only six predominantly-Muslim countries.
Citizens from Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Somalia and Sudan will be subjected to a 90-day ban on travel to the United States.
Iraq was previously listed among those nations, but a senior Department of Homeland Security official said the country was removed after the Iraqi government assured the Trump administration that they would share more information with the United States.