The United States government has included Nigeria in its expanded list of countries hit by a travel ban.
While Nigerians will still be able to visit the U.S. as tourists, they will henceforth be unable to obtain visas that can lead to permanent residency.
Other countries affected by the ban are Sudan, Eritrea, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar.
The measure was announced on Friday.
Acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said the new measure was the result of “failures by the affected countries to meet American security and information-sharing standards”, the BBC reported.
“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,” he was quoted as saying.
He said Nigeria and the other countries will be supported to strengthen their security requirements to help them get off the list, the report said.
Under the new policy, the American government said it would no longer grant Nigerians and nationals of Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar visas that can lead to permanent residency.
Non-immigrant visas given to visitors for temporary are not affected by the ban.
Nationals of Sudan and Tanzania are banned from “diversity visas”, which are available by lottery for applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S., according to the BBC.
Nigeria leads the six countries on immigration to the U.S, with over 8,000 immigration visas in 2018 alone. That year, Sudan received about 2,000, Tanzania got 290 while Eritrea had 31, the BBC reported.
The six countries are the latest on a list that already has Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea.
U.S. President Donald Trump first introduced a travel ban in 2017.