People from Nigeria will not be able to participate in the United States‘ 2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa Progam, popularly known as the visa lottery, according to newly released policy guidelines by the US Department of State.
The State Department says Nigeria is one of 19 territories and countries that have seen more than 50,000 of their natives move to the United States in the last five years. This list also includes Brazil, Jamaica and the United Kingdom sans North Ireland.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest country by population and the world’s most populous Black nation, is noted for building prominent immigrant communities, not only in the United States but also in the United Kingdom. The American Community Survey between 2012 and 2016 said more than 380,000 people reported having Nigerian ancestry.
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Over 277,000 of that number were individuals born in Nigeria. By far, the country is the last largest contributor of African immigrants to the US, followed by Ethiopia, Egypt and Somalia. The state of Texas holds the biggest Nigerian community in the country.
The US visa lottery is already banned in Tanzania and Sudan. Last year, winners of the lottery in other countries where the Trump administration identified as security risks were delayed or denied from settling in the US.
This is not the first time the administration of President Donald Trump has significantly impeded Nigerian travel to the States, although this may be the first non-controversial impediment. Earlier this year, the administration added Nigeria to its infamous list of Muslim-majority or heavily Muslim populated countries whose citizens were banned from entering the US.
The case made by the administration was that the countries on the list were in contravention of US security guidelines and expectations. Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari responded with a task force to “study and address” the concerns of the Trump administration.
Nigerian immigration to the US will undoubtedly be affected by the new policy seeing as a sizable chunk of the annual amount of immigrants go through the visa lottery.