US, Visa, Pakistan, visa sanctions

US imposes new visa sanctions on Pakistan

The United States has imposed new sanctions on Pakistan in response to Islamabad’s refusal to accommodate US citizen deportees and visa over-stayers.

In the warning, the US says it ‘may’ withhold visas of Pakistanis and top government officials could be the first ones to feel the heat.

The State Department has said that consular operations in Pakistan remain “unchanged” as of now but as a result of such a sanction mentioned in a Federal Register notification dated April 22, the US may withhold visas of Pakistanis beginning with its senior officials.

Notably eight of these countries have been slapped with such visa sanctions under the Trump administration. Two of them Ghana and Pakistan have been included in the list this year, reported the Gulf News.

The other countries include Guyana in 2001, the Gambia in 2016, Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone in 2017, Burma and Laos in 2018.

Under Section 243 (d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Secretary of State is required to discontinue granting immigration or non-immigrant visas to a nation upon receiving notice from the Homeland Security Secretary that the country has denied or is unreasonably delaying accepting a citizen, subject, national or resident of that country.

The State Department tried to downplay the impact of the sanctions on Pakistan.

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