The United States President Donald Trump has imposed a $15,000 visa bond for tourist and business travellers from 24 countries, including 15 African nations.
The countries include those with high overstay rate of 10 per cent or higher in 2019.
Although, Nigerian travellers escape paying the bond as their overall score was below the threshold of 10 per cent and above overstaying rate.
The new temporary rule requires travellers to the US from the affected countries to pay a bond from $5,000 to $15,000 with effect from December 24.
The programme runs through June 24 and targets countries whose nationals have higher rates of overstaying B-2 visas for tourists and B-1 visas for business travellers.
The African countries affected are Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, Burundi.
A Department of Home Security report shows the worst offenders were typically from Chad (44.94 per cent), Djibouti (37.91 per cent), and Mauritania (30.49 per cent).
The list also includes Iran at 21.64 per cent and Afghanistan at 11.99 per cent, as well as Bhutan, Laos, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria and Yemen.
According to the DHS, out of 177,835 Nigerians who visited the US in 2019, 17,566 overstayed, of which 764 departed late and 16,802 stayed in the country.
The overstaying rate was put at between 9.45-9.88 per cent but in other classifications, 11.12 per cent of 9,336 Nigerian non-immigrant and exchange visitors overstayed.
Another 13.67 per cent of in-scope nonimmigrant visitors also overstayed same year.
According to Reuters, the Trump administration said the six-month pilot programme aims to test the feasibility of collecting such bonds and will serve as a diplomatic deterrence to overstaying the visas.
Trump, who lost a re-election bid earlier this month, made restricting immigration a central part of his four-year term in office.
President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, has pledged to reverse many of the Republican president’s immigration policies, but untangling hundreds of changes could take months or years.
The spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, said he could not comment on the new rule as the ministry has not been briefed by the Nigerian Embassy in the US.