Citizens of 15 African countries, including Gambia, must post bonds worth up to $ 15,000 (£ 11,000) to visit the US, according to a new temporary travel rule that takes effect on December 24.
The US State Department said the six-month pilot program, which is aimed at visitor and business visas, will be a deterrent to those who exceed their visas.
Outgoing President Donald Trump, who lost a re-election bid earlier this month, has made the restriction of immigration a central part of his four-year term.
The elected president, Joe Biden, a Democrat, has promised to reverse much of the Republican president’s immigration policy, but hundreds of changes could take months or years.
The visa bond rule is aimed at countries whose citizens had a “surplus rate” of 10% or higher in 2019 and now have to pay a repayable bond of $ 5,000, $ 10,000 or $ 15,000.
While the countries had a higher cause, they sent relatively few travelers to the US, reports the news agency Reuters.
The African countries affected are: Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, Burundi.