WASHINGTON: The US has cancelled 60,000 visas since President Donald Trump signed the controversial immigration order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries, according to the State Department.
“Fewer than 60,000 individuals’ visas were provisionally revoked to comply with the executive order. We recognise that those individuals are temporarily inconvenienced while we conduct our review under the executive order,” said Will Cocks, spokesperson for Bureau of Consular Affairs Department of State. “To put that number in context, we issued over 11 million immigrant and non-immigrant visas in fiscal year 2015. As always, national security is our top priority when issuing visas,” Cocks said.
The pause does not apply to Lawful Permanent Residents, dual citizens with passports from a country other than the seven listed, or those travelling on diplomatic, NATO or UN visas, the Department of Homeland Security said.
Special Immigrant Visa holders of these seven countries may board US-bound planes, and apply for and receive a national interest exception to the pause upon arrival, the Department of Homeland Security said. “Importantly, these seven countries are the only countries to which the pause on entry applies. No other countries face such treatment. Nor have any other countries been identified as warranting future inclusion at this time, contrary to false reports,” it said.