US slaps visa sanctions on Myanmar nationals

Published: July 11, 2018 13:11:50 | Updated: July 11, 2018 16:25:33

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The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced, in coordination with the State Department, the implementation of visa sanctions on Myanmar and Laos due to “lack of cooperation” in accepting their citizens who have been ordered removed from the United States.

As of July 9, the US Embassy in Yangon has discontinued the issuance of all B1 and B2 non-immigrant visas for current officials at the Director General level and above from the Myanmar’s Ministries of Labour, Immigration, and Population (MOLIP) and Home Affairs (MOHA), and their immediate family members, with limited exceptions.

The Department of State may change the covered visa applicants or visa categories at any time, said a statement.

Visa suspensions may include any categories of visa or visa applicants, as determined by the Department Pursuant to her authority under Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M Nielsen notified Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the governments of Myanmar and Laos have denied or unreasonably delayed accepting their nationals ordered removed from the United States.

As a result, Secretary Pompeo has ordered consular officers in Myanmar and Laos to implement visa restrictions on certain categories of visa applicants, reports UNB.

Without an appropriate response from Myanmar and Laos, the scope of these sanctions may be expanded to a wider population.

The suspension will remain in place until the Secretary Nielsen notifies Secretary Pompeo that cooperation on removals has improved to an acceptable level.

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