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Visa Restrictions on Chinese Journalists and Nigeria Exclusion from Green Card Lottery

Updated: Nov 03, 2020  | Tags: USA Visa Restrictions, Green Card

China vows to protect the rights of Chinese journalists based on the United States

At a time of heightening tensions between the United States and the People's Republic of China, the United States has delayed renewing Chinese reporters' visas. Now, the Chinese government has vowed to protect the interests and rights of Chinese journalists.

At a news conference, Wang Wenbin, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, stated the china urged the United Stated to cease the suppression and persecution of Chinese reporters. Otherwise, the PRC would be forced to reciprocate with countermeasures. The country would reply to words with words and respond to actions with actions.

He stated that the visas of some Chinese journalists would expire in under a week, as they were valid for the period August 4 - November 4 only. They could legally remain in the United States for a further 90 days while applying to renew their visas, although some correspondents have yet to have their visa extensions approved. While they wait for their visas to be renewed, Chinese journalists are not permitted to engage in reporting or covering news items.

The United States government decided to limit visas for Chinese reporters to 90 days only in May 2020, and this followed the expulsion in March of 60 Chinese correspondents working in the United States. So far, the US has identified as "foreign missions" 15 Chinese broadcasting channels and other media outlets. In September 2020, the United States government revoked the visas of up to 1000 Chinese nationals studying in the US, as they were believed to have ties to the Chinese military and were therefore deemed a security risk.

Nigeria excluded from US Green Card diversity lottery

It has been confirmed that Nigeria is excluded from the 2022 Green Card visa diversity lottery. September saw the United States imposing a range of visa sanctions on Nigeria. A document with the title "Instructions for the 2022 diversity immigrant visa program (DV-2022)" states that Nigerian nationals are ineligible for the 2022 diversity visa program.

The exclusion is a severe blow for Nigerian nationals wishing to travel to the United States. They have previously been affected by sanctions on a range of visas, including B1, B2, E1, and E2 visas. In February 2020, Nigeria was included in the countries on President Trump's contentious travel ban list.

Last year, data showed that Nigeria was one of the African countries receiving the greatest number of US visas. Nigerian nationals were also the largest group of immigrants from Africa in the United States.

News reports claim that the country's political unrest is a contributory factor in the decision to exclude Nigeria from the diversity visa (DV) lottery program. In September this year, the United States accused some Nigerian citizens of "undermining the democratic process," although no evidence to support this statement has so far come to light.

However, the document referred to above, "Instructions for the 2022 diversity immigrant visa program (DV-2022)", explains that countries that receive more than 50,000 US immigrant visas during the previous five years are not eligible to participate in the DV lottery program. Nigeria is not the only country to be excluded, but it is the only African country to be omitted from the list.

An array of other nations, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, the People's Republic of China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland), and Vietnam are also excluded from the 2022 visa lottery. These nations are all disqualified because more than 50,000 citizens from each of these countries have received US immigrant visas during the last five years.

Applicants for the Diversity Visa lottery program must comply with specific and stringent conditions to be eligible for this visa category. Selectees are determined by the US State Department by randomized selection. Diversity visas are distributed amongst six geographic areas, and no single nation may be given more than 7% of the number of such visas granted in a year.

In the case of Nigeria's exclusion from the DV lottery program for 2022, it seems that it is most likely to be a coincidence that it comes when President Trump has already imposed visa restrictions on the country. It appears that the ban would have happened in any case because more than 50,000 Nigerian nationals have received Green Cards during the previous five years.