People from Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar will now be blocked from obtaining certain types of visas.
People from those countries will still be able to visit the US.
An official said the new measures were the result of failures by the six countries to meet US security and information-sharing standards. “These countries, for the most part, want to be helpful but for a variety of different reasons simply failed to meet those minimum requirements that we laid out,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told reporters on Friday.
The US said it would suspend the issuance of visas that can lead to permanent residency for nationals of Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar.
Sudanese and Tanzanian nationals will no longer be allowed to apply for “diversity visas”, which are available by lottery for applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the US.
Non-immigrant visas given to people for temporary stays – including visitors, those doing business or people seeking medical treatment – would not be impacted by the new rules.
Of the new nationalities facing visa restrictions, Nigerians account for the most immigration to the US.