El Salvador has begun charging passengers from India and over 50 African countries a tax of $1,000, or Rs 83,241, for them to visit the country.

While the country has said that the fee will be used to improve services at its international airport, the move is being seen as a bid to control migration to the United States through the Central American country, according to Bloomberg.

El Salvador’s port authority said on October 20 that the fee was being imposed as the country’s international airport is an important air travel hub, which has direct connectivity to 30 destinations in 14 countries

Besides India, citizens of 57 African countries, including Nigeria, Sudan and Uganda, will have to pay the $1,000 fee, as well as value-added tax.

With VAT, the passengers from these 58 countries will have to pay $1,130, or Rs 94,070.

On Thursday, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele met US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols to discuss “efforts to address irregular migration”, among other matters.