Foreign, News

United States lifts visa restrictions for Burundi citizens

US Ambassador Higgins attends the launch of EU Delegation sponsored project (PASACC Burundi) for the Burundian Cultural Sector/ COURTESY

The United States is lifting visa restrictions in place for Burundian citizens.

This, the US Embassy in Burundi said, was as a result of actions taken by President Evariste  Ndayishimiye’s administration.

“We look forward to building on this momentum to further strengthen our partnership to return more Burundian citizens home,” the embassy said on Thursday.

Burundi Foreign Affairs Minister Ambassador Albert Shingiro welcomed the  lifting of restrictions on almost all non-immigrant type visas for Burundian citizens.

“The next step will be to put bilateral cooperation between Burundi and the the United States to the highest level in its history,” Ambassador Shingiro said in tweet on Thursday.

In June 2020, the government said it had stopped issuing travel visas to Burundians because the country was not taking back citizens facing deportation from the United States.

“The restrictions cover non-immigrant visas except those issued for government officials traveling on official business,” the US said then

Africa Center fellow Dr. J. Peter Phamt noted that it should be emphasised to what extent the cooperation between the US and Burundi has improved over the past year under the administration of the President Ndayishimiye.

“Ongoing engagement will facilitate the relationship we all want,” the former US Special Envoy for the Sahel and previously Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region said.

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