US Alert: Trump Administration Announces Pilot Bond Program

On Monday, President Donald Trump issued a new temporary rule to pilot a program that would require tourist and business travelers from 24 countries with higher rates of visa overstay — mostly in Africa — to pay a bond as much as $15,000.

The US State Department explained that the temporary final rule would go into effect on December 24, 2020, and be current through June 24, 2021. The State Department said the rule targets countries with nationals with higher rates of overstaying the B-2 visas for tourists and the B-1 visas for business travelers. The Trump administration said the pilot program would test the feasibility of such a long-term program and is a diplomatic measure to deter visa overstays.

Travelers from countries with an overstay rate of 10% or higher in 2019 would be required to pay a refundable bond ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. Of the 24 affected countries, 15 are in Africa, including Angola, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Liberia, Sudan, and Afghanistan, Bhutan, Iran, Laos, Syria, and Yemen.

President-elect Joe Biden, who has vowed to overturn much of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, had not commented on this rule at the time of reporting.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to send updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.