The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has signed an executive order placing a quota on thenumber of visas to be issued by the United States Embassy in Addis Ababa to Ethiopians.
The executiveorder, which bans seven countries from visiting the United States granted Ethiopia only 100 visas per year. This means that the embassy is entitled to issue visas to only 100 lucky applicants yearly until may be a new government takes over to make changes to such laws.
Also, Ethiopians who hold dual nationality will be banned from entering the United States if their other passport is from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — the seven Muslim-majority countries “of concern”.
A lot of attention has been on the temporary visa ban on citizens of the seven Muslim-majority countries, but the impact on Ethiopians is far more than previously thought.
United States visas to the lucky 100 people would be valid for only three months as a clause in the orderrequires reciprocity.
Section 9 of the Executive Order states: “The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment. If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable…”
Given that the Trump order takes immediate effect, Ethiopians holding valid long term US visa are most likely to be affected.