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The US Travel Ban: 6 Important Lessons For Every Nigerian Traveler

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The US travel ban on Nigeria and other low-profile countries hit everyone with a rude shock. Though the sad development wasn’t entirely surprising – the Trump administration had always mulled over such a move.

Whichever way one flicks the side of the coin, this US visa ban will hit Nigerians real hard. The reason is obvious – Nigerians rank top on the list of immigrants and visitors to the US.

Until recently, the number of US visa applications in Nigeria doubles that of visa application to any other country. It proves that Nigerians have a strong interest in the United States. From tourism, business events and conferences to schooling and immigration, a huge number of Nigerians have a thing or two connecting them to the US.

But now that the Trump administration has placed a ban on the US Immigration visa what’s next for the teeming population of Nigerians who see the US as a dream destination?

While reactions surge and travel-hopefuls make adjustments, we have identified 6 takeaways from the hostile policy of the US. You should give attention to them.

Nigeria’s International Reputation is Rapidly Dwindling
Maybe, it isn’t the ban itself that stirs dust. It’s the manner at which it’s done and the consequences it will birth. The US travel ban exposes Nigeria’s rapidly declining international reputation.

Had Nigeria been banned alongside China, Singapore, India, or even South Africa, it wouldn’t have created much worry. Rather it was alongside the world’s worst-performing countries – Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan.

What it means is that Nigeria is clearly on the “pariah states” – countries that are outcasts in the international community. Such countries can face sanctions, global isolation or even invasion by countries who find their actions unacceptable. A decent example is the recent China visa ban on Nigeria.

Surprisingly, Nigeria is the only West African country to make the list – a notorious achievement that belittles the country on all fronts. It may not be surprising if this move affects Nigeria’s diplomatic relations with other countries or impacts on how Nigerians are treated overseas.

The Suspension Is Temporal But May Last Long
Yes, the statement from the Whitehouse says that the ban is temporary pending when the Nigerian government resolves all security concerns raised by the US. But the question is “how temporary?”

The current governments of both countries share reputations that will mar speedy resolution of the issue. The Trump administration’s signature policy is to close the American borders and restrict immigration. While Mr. Buhari’s government has earned a reputation of “slow and steady.”
With both odds staggering in the face, we may just forget about any overnight miracle.

The simple truth is that even if the US governm ent lifethe ban, it may just be in the papers. The stricter measures Nigerians face at the US embassy would remain or even be tightened.

No US Permanent Residency for Nigerians
If you look forward to landing the US Permanent Residency or earning citizenship for your unborn child through Medical Tourism, you may have to look elsewhere. It will not just be happening with the US anymore.

More so, the US travel ban means the US would restrict issuance of visas to medical tourists. If you can scale through, you’d just be spending your money on nothing – your child may eventually not earn citizenship.

Trust Nigerians, they’d circumvent the rules and find an escape route. But how well and far would that serve remains a bothering question.

The Reasons For The US Travel Ban are Largely Political
One question stays on the lips of a few people who are knowledgeable on the matter. “Why would the US allow tourists and business professionals from Nigeria if the reason for the ban is on security fears?”

The US government said Nigeria didn’t comply with its identity-management and information-sharing criteria assessed by the performance metrics. Also, it faulted Nigeria for not adequately sharing public-safety and terrorism-related information.

All this is just fine grammar. If not, why would they grant tourists and businessmen visas to the US but deny immigrants? It clearly shows the ban is a calculated plan t stop Nigerian immigrants from entering the US. Remember, Nigerians rank top in the list of immigrants in the US.

Well, before you disagree, go through the statement from the Whitehouse, and see if you can make meaning of the reasons given.

Increased Refusal of US Visa in Nigeria
With the ban, expect to see increased Refusal of the US visa to even genuine applicants. The perception of the US mirrors to every Nigerian, including top government officials and notable figures. But these sets of people have a cover, either diplomacy or their social status.

Others that stand a better chance are travelers with good travel history with the US. Every other person may just have to smoke it hot! New US visa applicants in Nigeria will have to put up an extra fight to secure a US Visa.

Increased Exploitation of Nigerian Visa Applicants
Nigerians should expect increased extortion from all sides – including visa agents in Nigeria and the US embassy.

Trust Nigeria visa agents, most of them can’t wait to jump on any opportunity to extort money from travel-hopefuls. Most of them would come with stories of how they’ve successfully helped thousands to secure the US tourist visa for instance. Please, be wise. No one guarantees you the US Visa – not even us at Travelwahala.

Though the US travel ban will equally affect even the best travel agencies in Nigeria

Just like the best travel agencies in Nigeria, we at Travelwahala can only help improve your chances of getting the visa. No one will guarantee your visa.

Bonus
The US visa ban on Nigerians willl not take effect until 21st February. However, the wave is already reverberating.

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Death of George Floyd: Trump Says Justice Will Be Served, Directs FBI, DOJ To Begin Investigation

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President Donald Trump announced late on Wednesday afternoon that he directed the FBI and Department of Justice to investigate the death of George Floyd after Floyd died in police custody earlier this week.

“At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!”

Floyd, 46, died on Monday after he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground by law enforcement officers in an incident that sparked widespread outrage after video of the incident went viral on social media.

“The arrest of Mr. Floyd took place on Monday evening. The Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement that officers had responded to a call about a man suspected of forgery,” The New York Times reported. “The police said the man was found sitting on top of a blue car and ‘appeared to be under the influence.’”

The Times added that videos that surfaced online of the incident did not show what happened prior to the police officers pinning Floyd on the ground which led to his death.

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Italy expected to lose “half of a million” jobs due to the coronavirus crisis

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The Covid-19 crisis in Italy will lead to the loss of 500,000 jobs in 2020, government employment policy agency Anpal said on Tuesday.

With the Italian economy hit hard by the coronavirus shutdown, and Italy’s GDP set to drop by eight percent in 2020, the next few years look bleak for a country which was already struggling with high levels of unemployment and poverty.

Anpal, the Italian government’s National Agency for Active Labor Policies, estimates that half a million jobs will be lost in the country this year.

“We can expect a loss of 500,000 jobs in 2020 and a partial recovery in 2021, with a negative balance of 250,000 jobs,” Anpal’s President, Mimmo Parisi, told the Italian Senate’s Labour Commission on Thursday,

He said Anpal’s “optimistic forecast” predicted a slow recovery, with a “return to pre-crisis levels only in 2023.”

Before the coronavirus crisis, Italy was still feeling the impact of the 2008 financial crash. The national unemployment rate had been hovering at around nine percent.

Another one million people will have to turn to food banks and charities for help as a result of losing their jobs to the shutdown, Agricultural group Coldiretti has estimated.

When Italy’s nationwide lockdown began in early March, some 11.5 million people – around half of the official Italian workforce – lost work or had their incomes slashed, and had to apply for government aid.

Italy’s large unofficial workforce was also hit hard. National statistics bureau ISTAT estimates that some 3.5 million people had been working in the country’s “shadow” economy, meaning they were unable to apply for any official help, and were left with nothing until further state aid for undeclared workers was announced in mid-May.

With criminal organisations reportedly maximising the gap to fill gaps left by the state, there are fears that Italy’s mafia are poised to further exploit the desperation caused by the crisis.

Source: Local Italy

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Illegal migrant in Greece arrested for sexually assaulting 6-year-old girl

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An illegal Afghan migrant has been arrested in Thessaloniki for sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl.

According to the girl’s mother, the Afghan, 19, was staying in the apartment where the girl lives with her family, in Ampelokipi. The assault took place there, according to a report by Greek news portal The Toc. The mother then filed a complaint with the juvenile protection sub-directorate in Thessaloniki.

In their subsequent investigation, the police also determined that the migrant was staying in Greece illegally. He is being charged with this as well.

Crimes committed by migrants have been on the rise in Greece in recent months. Greece is currently hosting tens of thousands of migrants in its reception centres, both on its islands in the Aegean and on the mainland, with more coming all the time. Most of the migrants have crossed illegally from Turkey. Two stabbings perpetrated by migrants took place on the island of Lesvos last week, resulting in one death, as previously reported by Voice of Europe.

According to Voice of Europe, migrants have also been attacking and desecrating churches in Greece, and also harassing the local population near their camps. While many Greeks initially welcomed the migrants when the crisis first began, their behavior is causing many of the locals to turn against them.

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