U.S. President Donald Trump has expanded a controversial travel ban to include immigration visa restrictions on Nigeria and five other nations. In Canada, however, Nigerians belong to one of the fastest-growing diasporas in the country.
Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, and Tanzania will be barred from obtaining certain types of U.S. immigration visas beginning February 21. The proclamation said these countries are either “unable or unwilling to improve their information sharing” with the U.S. or they “presented serious terrorism-related risks.”
As a result many American citizens and Nigerian immigrants will not be able to reunite with their families.
Akatavweragbon Salowo, a blogger who calls herself “Ak” for short, immigrated to Canada from Nigeria in 2018. Like many Nigerians, both in the U.S. and abroad, she felt targeted by Trump’s latest travel ban update and questioned the logic of blocking immigration from Africa’s most populous country.
“I imagine there will be a lot of Nigerians moving to Canada (from the U.S.),” Salowo told CIC News.
Canada does not consider a person’s country of origin when determining which immigration candidates qualify for economic-class immigration programs.
Last year Nigerians were the fourth most represented nationality among new permanent residents. About 12,595 permanent residents in 2019 were from Nigeria, which is exponentially more than the 4,090 Nigerians who became permanent residents in 2015.
Salowo was one of the Nigerians who immigrated to Canada through the federal Express Entry system.
“I had a great life in Nigeria before I moved, but I think I just got to the point where I was a little restless,” she said. “I felt I was in a bubble and I thought it would be really cool to experience something different.”
Now she writes a blog on her everyday experiences as an immigrant in the Greater Toronto Area. She calls her blog “Black Migrant Girl” in an effort to “deconstruct” what these words mean through her experiences living in Canada as a Black woman from Africa.
Sources : Canada visa .ca