Tuesday, 28 February 2023

US extends tourist visa validity to five years for Nigerians



The United States is set to increase visitor visa validity from 24 months to 60 months for Nigerians who want to enter the US temporarily for 

business and/or tourism, a statement by the US Consulate General said on Monday.
 
The new policy will start from Wednesday, March 1, 2023, the statement said.
@official_otblogger had earlier reported that the Federal Government directed the implementation of a new visa reciprocity policy for citizens of the US with effect from March 1, 2023, following an approval for the kickstart of the new Bilateral Consular Policy Agreements between the US and Nigeria
 
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said the Bilateral Consular Policy Agreements between the two countries also include the reciprocity of five-year tourist visa validity for American citizens pursuant to Section 30 of the Immigration Act, 2015; extension of visa validity to three years for diplomats and government officials between the citizens of both countries.
 
The statement by the US Consulate on Monday also assured that the cost of the visa fee still remains the same.
The statement reads, “Effective March 1, 2023, the U.S. Mission will increase visitor visa validity from 24 months to 60 months for Nigerians who want to enter the United States temporarily for business and/or tourism.
 
“The visa validity extension allows Nigerians to use the visa for 60 months to make short trips to the United States for tourism or business purposes before having to renew their visa. The visa application fee, currently USD160, will not increase as a result of the increased visa validity.
 
The consulate also noted that increasing visa validity was one of several initiatives taken by the US to reduce visa appointment wait times in Nigeria.
 
They also said they will continue to offer No-Interview Visa Renewals to those who meet the eligibility criteria adding that appointments for No-Interview Visa Renewals are readily available.
 
However, the embassy reiterated that Nigerians “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.
 
“Additionally, the person must be physically present in Nigeria, previous visa was issued in Nigeria, the previous visa is in the same classification as the current application, the previous visa was a full-validity, multiple-entry visa.”
 
The embassy in listing criteria for applying for visa renewal stated that the previous visa expired within the last 48 months or will expire in the next 3 months from the date of application. The applicant must have all the passports covering the entire period since receiving the previous visa and the passport with the most recent visa.
 
Also, the person must “never been arrested or convicted of any crime or offense in the United States, even if you later received a waiver or pardon. You have never worked without authorization or remained beyond your permitted time in the United States.”
 
The embassy informed applicants that the processing times for the programme are expected to be up to two months and applicants will not be able to retrieve their passports during that time.
 
Minors can apply without an interview only if they meet the eligibility criteria on their own, the statement added.
 

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