Tags: state dept. | non-immigrant | visas | muslim | coutries

State Dept: Non-Immigrant Visas Down 20% to Muslim-Majority Countries

Image: State Dept: Non-Immigrant Visas Down 20&#37 to Muslim-Majority Countries
Protesters wave signs and chant during a demonstration against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, Monday, May 15, 2017, outside a federal courthouse in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

By    |   Friday, 26 May 2017 08:23 AM

Non-immigrant visas granted to Muslim-majority countries has declined almost 20 percent since 2016, according to State Department figures released Friday.

Visas to only Arab countries were down 30 percent, according to an analysis by Politicoand visas to the six countries in President Donald Trump's March 6 travel ban (Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen) showed a more extreme decline — 55 percent, since 2016.

Visas to people from all countries, not just Muslim-majority ones, fell 15 percent since 2016, according to the data.

"Visa demand is cyclical, not uniform throughout the year, and affected by various factors at the local and international level. Visa issuance numbers tend to increase during peak travel seasons, such as during the summer and the winter holidays, though there may be different trends at the country, nationality, or visa-category level," William Cocks, State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs spokesperson told Politico.

Immigration lawyer Stephen Pattison said Trump's travel ban had a "chilling effect" on Muslim-nation residents coming to the U.S.

"Some people have canceled trips. Some people may have traveled last year but not this year. But I think it would be naïve to assume that what's going on in Washington isn't having an effect on consular adjudications," Pattison told Politico.

Screenings have become more intensive, which could also account for the decline, Politico noted.

"We are probably also seeing the real effect of somewhat more rigorous processes at the consulates," Edward Alden,  senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow, told Politico.

Iraqis and Syrians received more immigrant visas in comparison with 2016. Iraqis received 349 immigrant visas, compared to an average of 305 in 2016. Syrians got 268, compared to a 2016 average of 219, according to a Reuters analysis of the data. 

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Non-immigrant visas granted to Muslim-majority countries has declined almost 20 percent since 2016, according to State Department figures released Friday.
state dept., non-immigrant, visas, muslim, coutries
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2017-23-26
Friday, 26 May 2017 08:23 AM
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