The US Mission in Nigeria has announced the commencement of no-interview-visa-renewal services with a view to assisting non-immigrant visa applicants in Nigeria who have qualified to renew their visas.
The US Mission in Nigeria disclosed this in a statement by its Public Affairs Department on Tuesday.
It stated that the development is in a bid to expand its visa services.
Similarly, Susan Tuller, Country Consular Coordinator, confirmed the development while addressing journalists in Lagos, on Tuesday.
Tuller said the launch of the new pilot programme would significantly increase the opportunities for Nigerians to apply for visa renewal if they had already been issued a US visa in the past.
She, however, said that this came with meeting certain criteria for eligibility.
According to Tuller, a Nigerian may be eligible for a visa renewal without an interview if their application is for a B1/B2, F, M, J (academic only), H, L or C1/D (combined only) visa.
She said the new application procedure will begin in February at the US Consulate in Lagos and will be extended shortly thereafter to the US Embassy in Abuja.
The Mission noted that the number of qualified applicants who could apply using the new procedures would be limited initially.
“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 authorisation or remained beyond your permitted time in the United States.
“Please see our website at https://ng.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/ for further information.
“If you are qualified based on the above criteria, visit https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng to start your application.”
The Mission, however, urged the public to note that processing times for the programme were expected to be up to two months and applicants would not be able to retrieve their passports during that time.
It also explained that each applicant must individually meet the criteria; minors can apply without an interview only if they meet the eligibility criteria on their own.
For emergency appointments, the U.S Mission stated that “If you have a life-or-death emergency, you may request an expedited, in-person interview.
However, to accommodate ‘No-Interview Visa Renewals’, appointments will be very limited.
The Embassy also noted that business travel, conferences, weddings, and graduations are not considered emergencies.
“If you have an emergency and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng or +234-1-227-8955 to request an emergency appointment,” the statement read in part.
The Mission further stated 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.
It stated that applicants should fill out their own forms and make their appointments themselves via the official websites.
“As future opportunities for Interview Waiver appointments become available, they will be communicated via our website.
“Remember to rely on information only from genuine sources: https://travel.state.gov, https://ng.usembassy.gov/visas/, and https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng. Avoid becoming the victim of a scam,” The Mission advised.