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US Will Deny Visas to 4 Countries Under Deportation Crackdown

Other countries said to be recalcitrant by Washington include China, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Iran, Burma, Morocco and South Sudan. | Photo: Reuters Other countries said to be recalcitrant by Washington include China, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Iran, Burma, Morocco and South Sudan. | Photo: Reuters
The U.S. State Department says it will stop issuing certain kinds of visas to some people from Eritrea, Cambodia, Guinea and Sierra Leone as part of its bid to curb illegal immigration.

The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the four countries have been "denying or unreasonably delaying" the deportee process from the U.S. and the ban will be lifted once they take their citizens back. 

Eritrea is facing the harshest sanctions, as most people  applying for a business or a tourist visa to the United States will have their applications denied. 

In Cambodia, only Foreign Ministry employees at or above the rank of director general, and their families, who apply inside the country will be barred from getting some visas for personal travel. 

While the United States will no longer issue a range of tourist, business and student visas to Guinea's government officials and their immediate family members who apply from inside the country.

In Sierra Leone, foreign ministry and immigration officials and their immediate family members will be denied tourist and business visas at the U.S. Embassy in Freetown.  

The new rules, which come into effect immediately, have some exceptions, including those applying outside of their countries, on humanitarian grounds or people "deemed in the interest of the U.S.".

The State Department traditionally has been reluctant to impose visa sanctions because affected countries often retaliate through reciprocal restrictions on U.S. citizens and officials. The measures have only been imposed twice before, against Guyana and Gambia.

Other nations said to be recalcitrant by Washington include China, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Iran, Burma, Morocco and South Sudan.

"We are all surprised by the American authorities' decision but the foreign minister is at this moment working so that the situation returns to normal," Guinea government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara told Reuters.

"It must be understood that Guinea has never wanted to prevent the repatriation of its nationals who are in conflict with American law."

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