Visa Crunch

US Student Visa Interviews Waived For Some Nigerian Students

It was announced recently that eligible students will be granted no-interview US visa renewals to pursue their studies. This is only available to students who are already enrolled at a university in the United States and will be physically present in Nigeria over the summer.

“If you are currently studying in the US, you may be eligible to renew your student visa without an interview when you return to Nigeria this summer,”

said the embassy on its website.

According to the website, this will only apply to student visas that are currently valid or have expired within the last 24 months. No-interview US visa renewals will only be valid for students who want to: continue their studies in the same major, even if at a foreign university; or continue or change their course of studies at their current university.

The following documents will be required of students:

  • A completed DS-160 form
  • An approved I-20
  • A receipt for the I-901 SEVIS fee
  • A GTBank (MRV) receipt for the visa fee
  • A valid passport with the expired student visa — if the passport is expired, a current valid passport should be included
  • A passport photograph

Nigerian students in Lagos must make an interview waiver appointment here and must appear in person at the US Consulate with their documents on the date and time of their appointment. Those in Abuja, on the other hand, will need to submit a printed copy of an online application found on the same website, as well as their other documents, to a designated DHL facility.

If a student does not meet any of the above criteria, they must make a regular appointment. The same is true for their dependents, family members, or other members of their group. This is in addition to the No-Interview Visa Renewals process, which was piloted at the US Consular Section in Lagos in February of this year.

According to reports, the programme is aimed at students and tourists, as well as some work visas processed in Nigeria. Just after the pandemic, the United States was forced to close embassies in a number of countries, causing visa services to be disrupted. As a result, Nigeria’s current policy is intended to address the large visa backlog caused by COVID-19.

Moreover, the visa backlog began long before the pandemic. Under the guise of protecting American jobs, the Trump administration has been attempting to halt or ban the flow of immigrants into the United States since 2017. Since then, the Biden administration has worked to reverse such immigration restrictions.

Nonetheless, the ban, combined with pandemic-induced understaffing and technical difficulties at US consulates around the world, has resulted in a backlog that has left many applicants in the dark.

US embassies in a few countries have taken a similar approach. As of now, students from the following countries may be eligible for a visa renewal in the United States without the need for an interview:

  • India
  • China
  • Australia
  • Kenya
  • South Korea

Students should keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, and interview waivers are not guaranteed in all cases of US visa renewals.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.

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