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Lecturer Affected By US Visa Ban Targeted At Politicians   
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A lecturer at the faculty of Agriculture of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) says he has been given a restrictive visa when he recently applied to attend a conference in the United States.

Dr Micheal Osei said he applied for a B1/B2 visa to attend a workshop in Oklahoma which comes on between April 30 and May 1.
According to him, the visa was approved and he picked his passport up on Friday, February 22 only to find out that it was a single entry with 30-day validity.

“It had a notice attached that there is an ongoing sanction on a certain category oftravellers and I have been considered as one of those people. “They checked a box against a certain category, which said I am a Ghanaian executive or a legislative branch official and because of that my visa has been restricted to single entry 30-days validity period,” he told Joy News.

The lecturer stressed that the validity of the visa given him is from the day of issue February 21 to March 19 despite indicating in his application that his workshop is from April 30 and May 1.

He does not understand why his visa will expire even before the workshop he is attending and attempts to get answers from the US Embassy has not been successful.

Asked whether he has any connection with the legislature or the executive, Dr Osei said he applied as a normal Ghanaian civil servant.
“I went to the interview with a letter from the university introducing me, employment, promotion as well as confirmation letters, pay slips, an invitation from the organisers of the conference.”

According to the aggrieved lecturer, he has sent four emails so far to the US Mission but has been told his case has been closed.

The Agric lecturer said he was simply told the US Department of Homeland Security has imposed sanctions on certain Ghanaian travellers from February 1 so his case has been closed.
“After several calls to the Embassy, I managed to get in touch with a lady [Vanessa] at the call centre who put me on hold only to later come back and told me point blank that the sanction included every Ghanaian and not some selected persons as we have been told in the release.

“She said I am part of those Ghanaians that the sanction applies to so there is nothing that can be done and if I really want I should reapply. It is like fighting against a brick wall and not making progress,” he said.

A frustrated Dr Osei said he may have to call the conference organisers to tell them he cannot make it.

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