Trump announces visa sanctions on countries refusing to repatriate their nationals

Each defendant has been charged with visa fraud. If convicted, they face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Photo: iStock

US President Donald Trump on Friday (April 11) announced a new visa sanction norm, providing for visa denial to citizens of countries which either deny or dilly-dally in repatriating their citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump issued the memorandum for visa sanctions, which would be effective immediately and valid till December 31, this year, saying the countries “denying or unreasonably delaying” the repatriation of their citizens would be deemed to be causing “unacceptable public health risks for Americans”.

Countries that deny or unreasonably delay the acceptance of their citizens, subjects, nationals, or residents from the United States during the ongoing pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 create unacceptable public health risks for Americans, Trump said in his memorandum.

Addressed to the Homeland Security Secretary and Secretary of State, Trump said the US must be able to effectuate the repatriation of foreign nationals who violate the laws of the United States.


The process in this regard would be initiated by the secretary of Homeland Security who would identify the countries which do not accept Americas request of repatriation of their citizens, if that is impeding their operations to the ongoing pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. Thereafter the secretary of Homeland Security would notify the Secretary of State. Within seven days of receiving such a notification, the Secretary of State would impose visa restrictions on such a country, Trump said in his memorandum.

Visa sanctions would be lifted as soon as the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies the Secretary of State that a foreign country has resumed accepting aliens without unreasonable delay who are its citizens, subjects, nationals, or residents when asked to accept those aliens.