The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today called on the U.S Department of State to do more to “undo the damage” caused by the Muslim Ban by waiving fees and fast-tracking applications for all immigrants who were unjustly denied visas due to their nationalities.
On Monday, the State Department announced the results of its 45-day review of immigration processes, which was mandated by an executive order President Biden signed repealing the Muslim Ban on January 20, 2021.
According to the State Department, visa applicants whose applications were denied on or after January 20, 2020 due to the Muslim Ban can be reconsidered without having to submit a new application or pay new feeds. However, anyone denied a visa because of the Muslim Ban prior to January 20, 2020 must submit a new application and pay the costly application fees all over again.
The department’s announcement also states, “Applicants from the affected countries may no longer be denied on the basis of nationality, and the Department has taken a number of steps to ensure that applicants previously refused visas under Proclamations 9645 and 9983 will not have future visa applications prejudiced in any way by those prior decisions.”
In a statement, CAIR-SFBA Managing Attorney Brittney Razaei said:
“The Muslim and African bans rescission was a great first step, and now, waiving application fees and fast-tracking applications that were unjustly denied is critical in providing relief to immigrant families after years of tension and separation. Asking impacted individuals denied prior to January 20, 2020 to pay fees again is disappointing given the expenses and heartache these individuals have already experienced being denied a visa based on these discriminatory bans.”