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US Embassy in Ghana outlines category of visa applicants to be hit by sanctions

, US Embassy in Ghana outlines category of visa applicants to be hit by sanctions
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The United States of America Embassy in Ghana will begin visa sanctions on Ghana on February 4, 2019, with the cessation of the issuance of non-immigrant visas to domestic employees of Ghanaian diplomats posted in the US.

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The Embassy in a statement said such non-immigrant visa applications will remain pending until the visa restrictions are lifted.

There will also be limits on the validity period and number of entries on new tourists and business visas for all Ghanaian executive and legislative branch employees to one-month, single-entry visas. These restrictions will affect their spouses and their children under 21 years of age.

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“All other consular operations at the U.S. Embassy in Accra will continue as normal at this time. These visa restrictions will not affect other consular services provided, including adjudication of applications from individuals not covered by the imposition of these restrictions (for example, student visas),” the statement said.

The sanctions were announced on Thursday by the US Department of Homeland Security citing the Ghana government’s purported lack of cooperation in accepting Ghanaians deported from the US.

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The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, ordered embassy officers in Ghana to implement the visa restrictions.

The US Embassy reminded that Ghana, as a signatory to the UN Convention on International Civil Aviation, is obligated to issue the necessary travel documents to its citizens under deportation orders from another country.

Some 7,000 Ghanaians have been earmarked for deportation over the last three years but the government has insisted on vetting the deportees before issuing travel documents.

Find below the full statement

Statement on Implementation of U.S. Non-Immigrant Visa Restrictions on Ghana

A country that is a signatory to the UN Convention on International Civil Aviation is obligated to issue the necessary travel documents to its citizens under deportation orders from another country.

Under Section 243(d) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, when a country is determined to be denying or unreasonably delaying accepting the return of its nationals, the U.S. Government institutes visa restrictions until the situation is resolved.

Beginning on February 4, 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Ghana will discontinue issuing all non-immigrant visas (NIV) to domestic employees (A3 and G5) of Ghanaian diplomats posted in the United States. It is important to note that A3 and G5 visa applications will be processed, but no visas in these categories will be issued while these restrictions remain in effect. The lack of adjudication does not mean a visa denial. The application will remain pending until the visa restrictions are lifted, at which point, the visa application will continue to be processed for issuance.

In addition, consular officers will limit the validity period and number of entries on new tourist and business visas (B1, B2, and B1/B2) for all Ghanaian executive and legislative branch employees, their spouses, and their children under 21 to one-month, single-entry visas. Visas issued prior to the effective date of these visa restrictions will not be affected.

All other consular operations at the U.S. Embassy in Accra will continue as normal at this time. These visa restrictions will not affect other consular services provided, including adjudication of applications from individuals not covered by the imposition of these restrictions (for example, student visas).

Since July 2016, the U.S. Government has engaged with the Government of Ghana in both Washington, DC and Accra on this matter. The United States values its vibrant partnership with Ghana, and remains committed to working together with the Government of Ghana to resolve the situation.

Source: ghanaweb.com

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