South Africa is among more than 60 countries that will see their citizens subjected to additional restrictions on travel to the United States.
The order, announced on Friday, applies to South Africa, Cuba, Malaysia, and the Dominican Republic. The order, signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, said the move was being made because of security threats and existing reciprocity, with restrictions previously imposed in places that already had prohibitions on travel to the United States.
“To be clear, this is not a decision that is being taken lightly, and it is motivated in large part by the additional safety and security measures we are taking against Cuba to protect American travelers,” said Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan in a statement.
Like the original ban on travel to the United States, which was partially lifted in 2016 as part of the rapprochement between the countries, the new restrictions, which affect places that previously had restricted travel to the United States, are only in place for a one-year period. But, since the government traditionally applies the entry restrictions for up to three years, the list will likely be kept in place for some time.
White House officials said in a conference call with reporters that the list of restrictions also includes some other countries that were added to the list because of other steps taken to curb travel to the United States, which has seen a rise in terrorist activity over the past year. The officials said the issue of preventing terrorist activity has been at the heart of the decision, but that other factors, such as “drugs and immigration,” have also been taken into account.
The additional measures on travel to the United States, in effect for a year starting Oct. 23, 2018, will apply to travel that is ordinarily allowed within the United States, including tourism, business, educational travel, religious activities, family visits, and visits from people with other protected nationalities.
The travel restrictions still apply to people with certain specific nationalities such as visitors from Canada, China, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, which are subject to a travel ban imposed under President Trump earlier this year. People with those countries on the travel ban list can still enter the United States through places that previously had similar restrictions.
The administration said travel information is available online or on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.
The publication of the new travel restrictions comes on the heels of other broad new restrictions on immigration, including a ban on all refugees entering the United States for at least the next four months.