Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all business and leisure travel from Nigeria has been put on hold. However, sooner or later, the travel restrictions will be lifted, and this is where thousands of Nigerians will rush to get or renew their US visa. Here is how to apply for and renew a US visa in Nigeria!
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1. How to apply for a US visa in Nigeria
Applying for a US visa in Nigeria does not guarantee you success in obtaining the desired visa, as the US is famously selective regarding the people they allow into the country. If you want to try your luck, here are the steps you will need to take:
- Choose the type of visa you want to get. Depending on your goals and qualifications, you can choose from almost 20 visa types, including F (student), O (persons with extraordinary ability), D (ship and airline crew), and K (fiancé(e) or spouse of a US citizen). However, the most popular type of non-immigrant visas for Nigerians is B (business and tourism).
- Based on the type of visa you select, you will need to pay the corresponding application fee. The application fee must be paid before scheduling the appointment. In most cases, you will pay $140 or $150 for your application, but an application cost for a K-type visa is significantly more expensive and costs $350. This fee is non-refundable even in the event that your application is rejected. The payments should be done via GTBank; you can either visit a GTBank branch or do it online.
- Open the DS-160 application form on your computer and carefully follow the steps to fill in your application. You will receive a unique 10-digit code – make sure to write it down, as you will be asked to provide it when booking your appointment at the consulate. Overall, the DS-160 form will take you around 90 minutes to fill out. To make sure everything goes smoothly, remember to have your essential documents at hand. You will also need a digital passport-like photo of yourself.
- Schedule your appointment at one of two locations: Consulate General in Lagos or U.S. Embassy in Abuja. To schedule an appointment, you will need to provide your passport number, the 10-digit barcode from the DS-160 application, and a receipt from paying the application fee.
- Visit the visa location of your choice on the date and time of your appointment. The documents you must bring with you include your current and all previous passports, a printed copy of your appointment letter, a colour photograph of your face, the print-out of your DS-160 confirmation page, and the original payment receipt from GTBank.
- By the end of the interview, the visa officer will inform you whether you will be granted a US non-immigrant visa. In case you qualify for a visa, you will be able to pick up your passport and visa at a later date in a pickup place. If not, you will receive your passport back at the end of the interview.
2. How to renew your US visa
If you already had a US visa but it has expired in the last 12 months, you may be eligible for a visa renewal instead of having to apply for a new visa. Note that if you want to obtain a visa in a different class than the one you had before, you will need to follow the application procedure from scratch. Also, if your US visa is still valid but your passport has expired, you can still legally enter the US by providing your new passport along with the old passport that contains a US visa that is still valid.
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Overall, the process of renewing a US visa is identical to the visa application process for first-time applicants. However, depending on the type of visa you want to obtain, you may need to fill out an additional application form. Contact your nearest visa location to find out whether you need to bring an additional application to your visa renewal appointment.
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