It’s alarming, worrisome the rate many Nigerians, especially the youths now go about in seeking for the greener pasture in Overseas, and the United States happened to be the choice location of many Nigerians. Ask young Nigerians, both the unemployed and employed, that where they would like to travel, almost 7 of out of 10 youths will tell you the USA, without hesitation. The desperation the youth now exhibit to get US visa is despicable and should be condemned. Many of these people go extreme to make it happen.
Many Nigerian youths sleep overnight/hang around the embassy premises, just to keep to the time of appointment given for the interview.
Majority of Nigerian believe that, if you must have a successful interview with the US consulate, certain steps or protocols must be adhered to. They believe that you must have used your passport to certain countries before applying for US visa. They believe a “virgin passport” will deny you a US visa. So, the first thing they do is, they travel to some African countries, like South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, etc. Those who don’t have enough money to travel, give their passports to some of these Nigerian bus drivers who go to Ghana, to help them stamp it In and Out, at the point of entry. While some travel to Dubai, Malaysia, etc. Some people even take it further by travel to the United Kingdom. So, by doing all these, you have automatically qualified to apply for US visa.
The second step which is common is: they approach an agent who they know can help them get some documents needed by the embassy. The agent will also help them to fill the application form. Majority of people believed it requires an expert to fill US applicant visa form and most of the documents been used are usually fake; they are Oluwole’s papers.
The following are the top 7 reasons why your visa request may be denied (1) Being unprepared for interview (2) Applying for the wrong visa (3) Providing incorrect or insufficient information (4) Being overly confident during interview (5) Giving too much information (6) ineffective communication and sometimes the language barriers, various accents and dialects or unfamiliar lingo leave you confused. (7) Being disrespectful to the interviewer.
Often times, US consular in Lagos has come out to advice every applicant who are dreaming to visit the US to go through the right source. They even said further that, among the number of reasons the United States Government had revoked the visas of some Nigerians travelling to the US might have been because of overstaying the period of admission, applying for asylum in another country, and working without proper authorisation. Recently, the consulate also said it’s unnecessary to come for US visa interview in suit attire. So, to go through the right source, these are the steps. The two most common Nonimmigrant Visas (Visitor Visas) for the United States are the Tourism (B-2) and Business (B-1) visas.
The B-2 Visitor Visa allows the holder to stay in the United States for up to six months at a time. The validity of the visa is usually about two years.
Note: Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of return. The wait time for appointments can be up to two months, while the processing time for the application is usually between 5 to 15 days. These times can vary depending on the type of application submitted, whether the application is complete, and the volume of received applications.
US Visa Fees
The non-refundable application fee for business and tourist visas is about?57,680.00 (about $160). Payments can be made in cash at a GTBank branch or online if you are an account holder at GTBank. They are also subject to change whenever the embassy deems it fit.
Note: You will need to present your passport when you make a payment at a GTBank branch. You should also ensure you receive a receipt when making the payment, as you will need to provide this when you attend your interview.
US VISA REQUIREMENTS
An original Nigerian passport that has two blank pages for visa and entry stamps and is valid for at least six months beyond your return date.
Previous passports (for travel history).
Barcoded DS-160 form confirmation page.
Appointment confirmation page.
Two colour photos that meet the US Visa photo requirements.
Application fee payment receipt.
Proof of funds (i.e. bank statements, payslips, proof of assets and investments etc.)
Supporting documents such as invitation letters, letter of employment, provisional flight bookings and travel itinerary etc.
WHERE TO APPLY FOR A US VISA?
Applications can be done online through the US Department of State website.
You will submit your US Visa Application online but will be required to attend the visa interview in person at the embassy or consulate general.
If your application is successful, there are two options for getting your passport back:
Pick-up from a DHL or VFS collection office.
Courier delivery to your chosen address.
Note: You will be able to choose a collection point for your passport and visa or opt to make use of a courier service when scheduling your visa interview.
You will be notified when your passport is ready for collection.
If you need to submit additional documents for processing they can be dropped off at one of the DHL or VFS drop-off and collection offices.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A US VISA?
(1) Photographs that meet the
US Visa photo requirements should be obtained before beginning the application process. You will need to upload a digital photograph with your application.
(2) Complete the DS-160 form and submit the visa application online through the US Department of State website. Print out the barcoded confirmation page.
(3) Pay the non-refundable processing fee online or over the counter at a bank. You will need to take the receipt with to your interview.
(4) Schedule an appointment online or through a call centre (234) 1 440 6218. You will need the following documents when making your appointment:
Your passport number.
Your fee payment receipt purchase date.
The 10-digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page.
(5) Gather your documents and any supporting documents that may help your application.
(6) Attend your US Visa Application appointment at the US Embassy in Abuja or US Consulate General in Lagos. You will need to bring the following documents with you to the interview:
Your current and previous passports
Appointment confirmation letter
Barcoded DS-160 confirmation page
Receipt of the visa application fee
A colour photograph that meets the photo requirements
(7) If your visa is approved, your passport with the visa will be delivered to the pick-up location you specified when you scheduled your appointment or couriered to your chosen address.
–ISAAC ABIMBADE with additional info from the US Department of State website.