Libyans will face a visa suspension preventing them from entering the US when, as expected, the new President Donald Trump signs an executive order today that prohibits visas being issued to nationals from a number of Middle Eastern and North African states.
The other countries are Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Sudan and Somalia.
The order will not apply to those with dual US and Libyan nationality or those with passports from other countries. It is not clear if the ban will apply to those already in possession of a US visa.
Trump also plans to ban the entry of refugees until a more aggressive vetting system is put in place. Yesterday, he said that he had a “big day planned on national security tomorrow,” something he has already made a priority during his first week in the Oval Office.
Whilst campaigning to become US president, Trump had indicated he would enforce a far stricter visa policy, even going so far as to say he would ban Muslims from entering the country. However, he then partially retracted this.
The Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, tweeted: “These EOs (executive orders) will not make our nation safer, rather they will make it more fearful and less welcoming.”
As part of the general clampdown nationals of countries that are part of the US visa-waiver system, ESTA, already have to apply to their local US embassy for a visa to visit the US if they have been to Libya, although there are some exceptions.