Honestly, I could list a hundred reasons why I—as an African libertarian—am glad Donald Trump lost the election to Joe Biden, but this new policy launched after Trump failed to win a second term seems to be done out of spite!
The Pilot Program will run for six months. During that period, consular officers may require nonimmigrant visa applicants falling within the scope of the Pilot Program to post a bond in the amount of $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000 as a condition of visa issuance. […]
Effective Date: This temporary final rule is effective from December 24, 2020 through June 24, 2021.
Pilot Program Dates: The Pilot Program will run for six months, from December 24, 2020 through June 24, 2021. […]
By establishing the Pilot Program, the U.S. Government focuses on travelers who are nationals of: Afghanistan, Angola, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), Djibouti, Eritrea, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Laos, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen,18 thereby sending a message to those countries in particular regarding the relevant overstay rates of their nationals. (State Department via GovInfo) (PDF)
Truthfully $15,000 is exceptionally excessive, especially considering the exchange rate between many countries (especially those within Africa).
Hopefully, a pending Joe Biden Administration will reverse these draconian fees or even consider drastically lessening them if overstays are an issue (less than $500 should be sufficient) instead of pricing out the visa fees beyond the reach of many (if not most) African citizens.
Note: Props to CBS News for providing the Government link.