The US State Department on Friday night announced that it has put six new countries under its travel ban list.
Under a proclamation signed Friday by President Trump, citizens from Eritrea, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria- Africa’s most populous country, won’t be allowed to apply for visas to immigrate to the U.S.
Two other countries, Sudan and Tanzania, will be barred from participating in the diversity visa lottery, which randomly awards green cards to 50,000 immigrants from underrepresented countries annually.
The six countries will join a list of seven nations, most of them Muslim-majority, which include Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea, that faced significant travel restrictions under President Trump’s original travel ban, issued in 2017.
However, unlike five of the original countries—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen—travelers from the newly added nations who seek to visit the U.S. for business or pleasure will still be permitted entry.
The Trump administration which has made immigration reforms one of it’s benchmark policies, stated that the policy was designed to tighten security for countries that don’t comply with the U.S. minimum security standards or cooperate to prevent illegal immigration.
However, Homeland Security and State Department officials said some immigrants would be able to obtain waivers from the restrictions.
The ban, which has been approved by President Trump will take effect on February 22.
The administration says the travel ban is vital to national security and ensures countries meet US security needs when it comes to sharing vital information that can prevent and fight terrorism.
“The restrictions are tailored to country-specific deficiencies, as well as travel-related risks to the homeland,” a Department of Homeland Security official told reporters Friday.