The United States Mission in Nigeria says it is expanding its services to assist qualified nonimmigrant visa applicants starting from this month (February)
US Mission Country Consular Coordinator, Ms Susan Tuller, who announced this at a news briefing at the US Consulate in Lagos, stated that the new application procedure would begin at the U.S. Consulate in Lagos and will be extended shortly thereafter to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja
According to Ms Tuller, the services will
be limited initially and applied only to applicants for academic exchange, work, study and tourist visas, while every eligible applicant must have a previous visa that expired within the last 24 months or will expire in the next three months from the date of application.
She stated, “”You may be eligible for a visa renewal without an interview if your application is for a B1/B2, F, M, J (academic only), H, L or C1/D (combined only) visa, AND you meet each of the following criteria:
- Your previous visa was issued in Nigeria;
- Your previous visa is in the same classification as your current application;
*Your previous visa was a full validity, multiple entry visa;
*Your previous visa expired within the last 24 months or will expire in the next 3 months from the date of application;
*You have all your passports covering the entire period since receiving the previous visa and the passport with the most recent visa;
*You have never been arrested or convicted of any crime or offense in the United States, even if you later received a waiver or pardon; and you have never worked without authorization or remained beyond your permitted time in the United States”
She emphasized that processing times for the programme are expected to be up to two months and applicants may not be able to retrieve their passport during that time, while minors can apply without an interview only if they meet the eligibility criteria on their own, and all those qualified based on the above criteria should visit https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng to start their application.
Ms Tuller stated that while those with a life-or-death emergency may request an expedited, in-person interview, however, appointments for a No-Interview Visa Renewals would be very limited.
She clarified that business travel, conferences, weddings, and graduations are not considered emergencies and reminded Nigerians that third parties unaffiliated with U.S. Embassy Abuja and Consulate General Lagos may seek to take advantage of various visa services to target visa applicants with fraudulent offers or claims.
The US Country Consular Coordinator
advised applicants to fill out their own forms and make their appointments themselves via the official websites and reiterated that as future opportunities for Interview Waiver appointments become available, they would be communicated via the embassy’s website at https://ng.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/
On the much anticipated drop box system which was suspended in May 2019, Ms Tuller stated that It didn’t achieve its intended goals because it was fraught with “fraud, high overstay rates” whereas the consular unit aimed at strengthening “border security, productivity and customer service.”