A record number of US visas have been cancelled under Donald Trump’s travel ban as the US president moves to restrict travel from six Muslim-majority countries.US citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen were among the countries affected by the order, which also applies to nationals from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Yemen.US President Donald Trump speaks to the media following a meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, September 19, 2021.
A total of 5,814 US visas were cancelled on Wednesday as Trump moved to suspend immigration from seven Muslim-dominated countries, according to a US State Department spokesperson.
“We are suspending visa issuance from Iraq, Syria, Sudan and Yemen, the US Department of State confirmed in a statement,” the State Department said.
“This includes visas issued by US citizens to nationals of the countries who are currently subject to the order.”
“The US has already revoked visas to nationals and residents of Iran, Sudan in January and Yemen in June, and we are taking further action against visa issuers in those countries as well,” it said.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry called for the ban to be lifted immediately.
“My call for a complete and immediate end to the terror attack in Chicago is being met with deafening silence in the US Senate and House of Representatives,” he said.US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said that the US government will continue to work with other nations to secure visas for Americans.
“The Trump administration’s continued attempts to restrict immigration from certain nations are a blatant attempt to shut down the US economy and the American people,” Mnuchin tweeted.
“This administration will not be bullied or bullied out of protecting our borders.”‘
We have to be prepared for a lot of different scenarios’In the meantime, the State department is warning citizens of Iran to expect delays of up to 72 hours in applying for their visas.
Iran is one of six countries listed in the ban, along with Iraq, Libya and Somalia.
“Iran is currently the only country listed in this executive order who is not a visa-exempt country,” said Sarah Saldana, an immigration attorney in Seattle.
“If you have a green card, or if you have been lawfully admitted to the United States, you can apply for a visa on that basis,” she said.
“We have the ability to cancel visas, so the reality is that there are a lot more options than you may think.”
Ms Saldanas advice: You may want to consider getting a visa from a country where your passport is valid.
If you are not eligible for a greencard, or your passport has expired, you may need to apply for an immigrant visa instead, but this process can take months.
“A lot of people are not even aware that they are still in the country,” she told Al Jazeera.
“They’re very concerned.
If you’re a citizen of a country that’s listed in order to exclude you from the country, they can cancel your visa.
So, they’re very worried about their visas.”
Ms Nuland said the travel ban would not affect Iranian students, workers or businesspeople who are visiting the US.
“You’re still in a safe country,” Ms Nulwill said.
But US travel restrictions are also impacting those travelling from Iran.
“It’s really a logistical nightmare to try to get to the US from Iran and not having a visa is a really bad idea,” said Shazia Bhatti, an Iranian-American living in Washington state.
“I’m concerned about being a citizen.
My daughter is studying in the United Kingdom.
If she’s in the UK she’ll be unable to come to the States.
That’s a big concern for her.”
Ms Bhattis fears she won’t be able to attend her daughter’s upcoming wedding because of the travel restrictions.
“What if I go back to Iran?
I have no idea where I’m going to go to,” she explained.”
But the most important thing for me right now is to get home safe and sound and with my daughter.”