March 30, 2021
Freetown, Sierra Leone – The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken ordered the reduction of visa sanctions on Sierra Leone in recognition of the Government of Sierra Leone’s increased assistance in facilitating the timely return home of its nationals who are subject to final orders of removal from the United States.
“I am pleased to announce this reduction in sanctions,” stated newly arrived Ambassador David Reimer. “The abiding friendship between our nations is built on ties of family, culture, and mutual respect, as well as political and economic exchange. We recognize and appreciate the Government of Sierra Leone’s improvements on removals issues and trust that the government will continue to work with us in establishing a mutually-agreeable process for accepting Sierra Leonean nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States.”
Effective March 31, the U.S. Embassy in Freetown will resume issuing all immigrant and most nonimmigrant visas to qualified Sierra Leoneans. Under Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) visa restrictions will continue to apply to B1, B2, and B1/B2 nonimmigrant visas for Sierra Leonean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC) officials and immigration officials until the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined that 243(d) visa restrictions are no longer merited and so informs the Secretary of State.