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US sets criteria for visa applicants from 6 Muslim nations

Muslim nations

Washington: The Trump administration on Wednesday set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a “close” family or business tie to the United States.

The move comes after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims.

The six nations whose citizens are covered by the executive order are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

As per sources, the guidance defined a close familial relationship as being a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling, including step-siblings and other stepfamily relations.

Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-laws and sisters-in-law, fiancées or other extended family members are not considered to be close relationships, as per guidelines.

As far as business or professional links are concerned, the State Department said a legitimate relationship must be “formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading” the ban. Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the US would be exempt from the ban.

The exemption does not apply to those who seek a relationship with an American business or educational institution purely for the purpose of avoiding the rules, the cable said. A hotel reservation or car rental contract, even if it was pre-paid, would also not count, it said.

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