The United States has lifted its travel ban for Chad, citing a positive review of the Sahel nation’s identity-management and information sharing practices.
“Chad is a critical and vital partner to the U.S. counterterrorism mission. Chad has made significant strides and now meets the baseline criteria,” the U.S. Department of State said, explaining the announcement from President Donald Trump in a statement.
“For this reason, the travel restrictions placed on Chad are terminated effective April 13,” they added. “Its citizens will again be able to receive visas for travel to the United States.”
The ban was introduced in September 2017, when Chad – along with Libya and Somalia – was named as a state with restricted U.S. entry. It was the latest iteration of a controversial U.S. border protection strategy that Trump began when first taking office, and has been met with a number of legal challenges.
The ban added restrictions for Chadians that were met with confusion in N’Djamena, which viewed itself as a strong partner in combating extremism and enjoyed a largely positive relationship with the U.S.
At the same time, the U.S. had lifted restrictions for citizens of Sudan. The ban also included Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and Iran.
U.S. officials said the new policy specified criteria tied to a nation’s ability to effectively manage and share information about citizen identity and national security risk. The U.S. evaluation also considers whether a country is a “known or potential terrorist safe haven” overall, and whether or not a nation cooperates in accepting its citizens when they are removed from the U.S.