WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most U.S. 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 Jan. 20, 2020, must submit new applications and pay a new application fee. Those who were denied on or after Jan. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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.
(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Christopher Cushing)