Pakistan has experienced the significant drop of 40 percent in the number of US visas granted to its nationals under the administration of President Donald Trump despite of not being in the travel ban countries list of US President. In a contrary to Pakistan, India has experienced the increase in the number of non-immigrant US visas by 28 per cent in the months of March and April in this year when compared to the previous year’s monthly average, according to the newly released monthly official data.
The non-immigrant visas issued to Pakistanis are down by 40 per cent in the months of March and April in this year as compared to the year 2016’s monthly average, said by a Pakistani media report quoting to the data released by the US State Department.
Pakistanis were issued only 3,925 non-immigrant US visas in the month of April and 3,973 visas in the month of March 2017 under the administration of Trump.
In the last year, the Obama administration has issued a total number of 78,637 non-immigrant US visas to Pakistanis with the monthly average of 6,553, the issue was 40 per cent higher than the current monthly average.
Before the March of this year, the State Department did not release any monthly breakdowns of visas and only annual figures of the visas issued were available.
A report compared the March and April 2017 figures with the monthly averages for the year 2016. Even in the year 2015, the monthly average remained at 6,179 as the total of 74,150 Pakistanis were granted visas.
A spokesperson of the State Department told to the The News International: "Visa demand is cyclical, not uniform throughout the year and affected by various factors at the local and international level. Visa issuance numbers tend to increase during peak travel seasons, such as during the summer and the winter holidays, though there may be different trends at the country, nationality, or visa-category level".
The newly released data showed that the Indian nationals received 87,049 US visas in the month of April and 97,925 US visas in the month of March of this year. During last year, the people from India have received 72,082 non-immigrant US visas in each month on an average with the annual total of 864,987 visas.
Pakistan is not just the only Muslim-majority country, which is experiencing the decline in the non-immigrant US visas. Alike analysis was conducted on the 50 Muslim majority countries which revealed that the number of US visas issued to their nationals has also experienced a declined by 20 per cent in the month April when compared to the monthly country average in the last year, said the report.
The six Muslim-majority countries which are targeted by the President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, that are Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen have experienced a decline of 55 per cent in the non-immigrant US visas as compared to the last year's monthly average.
Experts believe that the decline in issue of visas may indicate that the more number of visa applicants are now subjected to the excessive scrutiny.
In the month of January, Trump had signed an executive order, which temporarily bars the people from seven Muslim-majority countries, which are Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. In the month of March, Trump signed the revised travel ban excluding Iraq from the travel ban list. The new executive order was challenged in the court and also a judge had halted the travel ban.
Whether or not the travel ban order is passed the scrutiny will be excessive on all the nationals. The nationals may belong to the Muslim-majority countries or not.