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US embassy assures Nigerians they are welcome to travel

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The US embassy in Nigeria said Wednesday that Nigerians were welcome to travel to the United States following confusion over President Donald Trump’s new immigration rules.

A foreign affairs adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday warned citizens against non-essential travel to the United States, as some Nigerians had been denied entry at the border.

“The US embassy in Abuja wishes to clarify that there is no reason for Nigerians with valid visas to postpone or cancel their travel to the United States,” said the embassy in a statement.

“There is no prohibition against Nigerian lawful permanent residents or persons with a valid visa or other US government authorisation from entering the United States.”

Trump signed a revised ban on refugees and on travellers from six Muslim-majority nations on Monday. Nigeria, which has a majority Muslim north and predominantly Christian south, is not on the list.

Nigeria’s foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama told a news conference it was “business as usual” with the United States, despite the earlier advisory from a presidential adviser.

Of the 2.1 million African immigrants living in the United States in 2015, 327,000 were born in Nigeria, according to data from the Pew Research Center, published in February.


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