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Nigeria is advising its citizens not to travel to the US

Yomi Kazeem

The United States are looking less and less welcoming to would-be visitors.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is advising its citizens against traveling to the US, except on urgent trips. The move is in response to reported difficulties that Nigerians have faced gaining entry into the US, despite holding valid visas.

During a business trip on March 2, 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.”

Trump’s travel ban was revised and re-issued today, March 6. Neither version mentioned Nigeria.

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.

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