April 11 (UPI) -- Citizens of the central African nation of Chad can once again obtain visas to travel to the United States, beginning Friday.
The Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday Chad has sufficiently raised baseline security requirements to have the visa restriction lifted.
The department said the landlocked African country is a "critical U.S. counterterrorism partner" -- and that its improvements "meet important baseline" U.S. requirements.
As a result, Chadian nationals will again be able to apply for visas to the United States. The ban will be lifted Friday.
The removal of restrictions followed a 180-day review process last year by DHS and the State Department.
Chad's restriction was initially imposed with others among Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. The department said during its review, the United States worked closely with Chad's government to achieve a "baseline standard for identity management and information sharing."
Officials said the process also involved working with other nations with visa restrictions.
"The administration has recorded notable improvements in identity management and information sharing," the department said. "The higher security standards implemented by the president have incentivized our international partners to take action -- including improving sharing of data on terrorists and criminals, making travel documents more secure, and taking steps to crack down on identity fraud."