False claim circulates online that Nigerians will now pay $15,000 bond to get US visa

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Multiple posts on social media platforms claim that Nigerians will pay fifteen thousand Dollars- bond to the U.S. government as a “new rule” to get a visa.

The claim, as seen on a Facebook post  published on November 24, 2020, reads:  “Are you a Nigerian trying to visit the U.S. soon, Before you go apply for your visiting visa; be ready to pay a $15, 000 bond to the US government.”

It says the new ‘temporary final rule’ from US State Department takes effect from December 24 through June 24, 2021.

While adding that, it is targeted at countries whose citizens have higher statistics of over staying beyond the approved visitors (B2) and business travellers (B1) visas.

THE CLAIM

Nigerians will now pay a $15,000 bond for U.S. visa.

 

Nigeria is not part of the US visa bond programme as falsely stated in this post.

THE FINDINGS

Checks by the FactCheckHub  reveal that the claim is FALSE.

The US Embassy in Nigeria has debunked the claim.

In a tweet, the embassy stated that “The United States Mission in Nigeria can confirm that Nigeria is not currently part of the pilot visa bond programme”.

What is the visa bond programme?

The visa bond requirement is as a result of a new rule by the outgoing President Donald Trump’s administration whereby applicants from selected countries are required to pay a bond of up to $15,000 in addition to visa fees.

The visa bond will affect countries whose nationals had an overstay rate of 10 per cent or more in 2019.

This new policy will be implemented on a temporary basis for six months – December to June – as a pilot scheme to test run it, the US Embassy in Nigeria stated.

Screenshot of reaction of the US Embassy in Nigeria on its official blog.

A  statement, it issued, says it is in response to the April 2019 Presidential Memorandum on Combating High Non-Immigrant Overstay Rates.

It added that “Among other efforts to address this challenge, the State Department is considering additional steps to address overstays, including piloting a limited visa bonds program to test, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the operational feasibility of posting, processing, and discharging visa bonds as means to ensure the timely departure from the United States of certain travelers.

“Accordingly, the State Department will begin a limited six-month visa bond pilot program beginning on December 24, 2020.  We are committed to combating visa overstays and making sure travellers to the United States respect our laws”.

It noted that “Nigeria is not included in this six months pilot program.”

Findings show that the visa bond rule will permit the U.S. Consular officers to request tourist and business travellers from nations whose nationals had an overstay rate of 10 per cent and above in 2019 to pay a refundable bond of $5,000, $10,000 or $15,0000.

The affected 24 countries are: Laos, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, Papua New Guinea, Mauritania, Liberia, Iran, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Congo, Chad, Cape Verde, Burundi, Burma, Burkina Faso, Bhutan, Angola and Afghanistan.

Although, the Trump’s administration had issued a number of immigration restrictions to Nigeria in the last two years, reports show that statistics of Nigerians travelling to the US has reduced.

 

THE VERDICT

The claim that Nigerians will now pay a $15,000 bond for U.S. visa is FALSE. Nigeria is not part of the U.S. visa bond programme.

 

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