Nigeria Advises Citizens Against Traveling to U.S. ‘Until Immigration Policy is Clear’

Conor Gaffey

The Nigerian government has advised its citizens to suspend any non-urgent travel to the USA until “there is clarity on the new immigration policy,” according to a presidential adviser.

A special adviser on foreign affairs to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said that several Nigerian citizens with valid multiple-entry U.S. visas had been refused entry to the United States in recent weeks, Reuters reported.

Dabiri-Erewa said that no reasons had been given for the refused entries. She said that Nigerians planning to travel to the country should “consider rescheduling their trip” until America’s immigration policy became clear.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January, banning immigration to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The ban was later suspended by U.S. courts, but Trump signed a revised order on Monday, with Iraq left off the list of banned countries and green card holders from the affected countries excused from the ban.

Trump protester

A protester demonstrates outside the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals courthouse in San Francisco, California ahead of the Court hearing arguments regarding President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries on February 7. Trump's executive order prompted widespread confusion and protests. Noah Berger/Reuters

Nigeria was not included on the original list of banned countries, and Trump held a phone call with President Buhari, who is currently on sick leave in London, in which the U.S. president backed the sale of American aircraft to support Nigerian counter-terrorism operations against Boko Haram.

Dabiri-Erewa did not directly refer to Trump’s executive order in her statement.

Newsweek contacted the State Department for a comment on the advice, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

A Nigerian software engineer who traveled to the United States in February reported being detained for several hours as custom officials doubted his credentials. Celestine Omin, who worked for Nigerian startup Andela —which is backed by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan— told LinkedIn that he was given several software engineering questions to prove that he was who he said he was. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman told LinkedIn that the agency did not administer written tests to check on travelers.

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