The US government said it has suspended issuing visas for domestic employees of Malawian officials, Reuters news agency reports.
It adds that this comes after one of Malawi’s diplomats failed to pay $1.1m (£866,000) in damages to a woman she trafficked in the US.
In 2016, domestic worker Fainess Lipenga was awarded the payout in a human trafficking lawsuit against her employer Jane Kambalame, who worked at the Malawian embassy in Washington.
Ms Lipenga, who reportedly worked long days for less than 50 cents an hour and was subjected to psychological abuse, still has not received the money, Reuters reports.
The Malawian Embassy in Washington did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
In 2017 PRI reported that Ms Kambalame disputed the allegations against her.