Frequently Asked Questions on New Visa Policy in Support of Bangladesh’s Elections

Q. To whom would these visa restrictions apply?
A. This policy applies to any individual responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh. This includes current or former Bangladeshi officials, government supporters, and opposition members, among others. This would also include the immediate family members of such persons.

Q. Have any visa restrictions occurred under this policy at this time?
A. No. As the Secretary stated, the United States is committed to building a strong partnership with the Government of Bangladesh grounded in democracy and human rights. We welcome the Prime Minister’s expressed commitment to holding free and fair elections.

Q. Are these visa restrictions directed against the Government or the Awami League?
A. No, the United States does not support any particular political party. Restrictions under this new policy target individuals engaging in behavior that undermines the democratic election process, regardless of affiliation.

Q. Will you notify the affected individuals that their visas have been revoked?
A. It is a general practice to notify individuals whose visas are revoked or cancelled.

Q. How would visa restrictions apply to individuals who commit offenses after following orders from higher levels? What if it is difficult to link higher level decision-makers to those carrying out orders?
A. The policy applies to anyone who is responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.

Q. Is this announcement in retaliation for the Government of Bangladesh’s May 14 decision to curtail Ambassador Haas’s security detail?
A. Given our close cooperation with the Government of Bangladesh, we informed it of this policy decision on May 3.

Q. Why does the United States care so much about Bangladesh’s elections?
A. The United States supports free and fair elections everywhere. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government have committed to supporting free and fair elections in Bangladesh. This policy is designed to support these efforts and the Bangladeshi people, so they may hold elections to choose their leaders.