US embassy in London suspends visa appointments to nationals of seven Muslim


The U.S. embassy in London on Monday said visa procedures for nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries were suspended -- throwing into confusion British assurances on the status of its dual nationals.
“Per U.S. Presidential Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017, visa issuance to aliens from the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been suspended effective immediately until further notification,” the embassy warned.
“If you are a national, or dual national, of one of these countries, please do not schedule a visa appointment or pay any visa fees at this time,” it added.
The embassy also warned U.K. dual citizens not to attend previously arranged visa appointments.
However, the notice came a day after a U.K. government statement said its dual citizens would not be affected by the controversial entry ban but dual nationals of the seven countries could face further checks in the visa process.
In updated advice published on Monday, Britain’s Foreign Office said: “Temporary immigration measures are in place affecting British nationals who hold dual nationality with Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen."
It also warned U.K. dual nationals of the seven countries affected would need “authorization to enter the United States using a British passport, either through a visa, a Permanent Resident Card, or the Visa Waiver Programme”.
Speaking later on Monday, a Downing Street spokesman said he could not comment on the U.S. embassy statement, but said Britons were not getting "preferential treatment".
U.S. President Donald Trump said he had identified the seven Muslim-majority nations for the entry ban from a government report on terror-prone states prepared during the Barack Obama administration.
Thousands of people are expected to attend a London rally on Monday to condemn the controversial ban.
More than a million people have also signed a petition on the British parliament’s website calling for the cancellation of an invitation to Trump to make an official state visit to the U.K.
The invitation was extended by Prime Minister Theresa May during her visit to the White House on Friday.

WorldBulletin

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