World

US defines criteria for visa applicants from six Muslim-majority countries

WASHINGTON: Visa applicants from six Muslim-majority countries must have a close family relationship to an American individual or formal ties to a United States entity to be admitted to the country under guidance distributed by the US State Department on Wednesday.

The guidance defined a close familial relationship as being a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling, including step siblings and other step family relations, according to a copy of a cable distributed to all US diplomatic posts.

The cable, first reported by the Associated Press, said close family "does not include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-law and sisters-in-law, fiances, and any other 'extended' family members."

It also specified that any relationship with a US entity "must be formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading the EO," a reference to US President Donald Trump's March 6 executive order temporarily barring most US travel by citizens of six nations. - REUTERS

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