The United States has announced the visa validity period for Nigerians has been extended. Basically, effective from March 1, 2023, Nigerians wishing to enter the United States temporarily for business and/or tourism will be extended from 24 months to 60 months for visitor visas.
The PUNCH reported that the federal government has ordered the full implementation of a new visa reciprocity policy for US citizens effective March 1, 2023.
A statement from the US Consulate on Monday also confirmed that the cost of visa fees will remain unchanged.
The statement by the US Consulate 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.
“Increasing visa validity is one of several initiatives taken by the United States to reduce visa appointment wait times in Nigeria. The U.S. Mission continues to offer No-Interview Visa Renewals to those who meet the eligibility criteria. Appointments for No-Interview Visa Renewals are readily available.
“No-Interview Visa Renewal
“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:
- You are physically present in Nigeria.
- 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 48 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 offence 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.
“Please note that processing times for the program are expected to be up to two months and you will not be able to retrieve your passport during that time.”
Desired applicants are advised to visit the website https://ng.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/ for further information.
Interior Minister Rauf Alegvesola said the directive was issued after approval for the implementation of a new bilateral consular agreement between the two governments.
According to Aregbesola, the agreement includes, among other things, the reciprocity of the five-year validity period of tourist visas for American citizens under Section 30 of the Immigration Act of 2015. He extended the validity of visas for diplomats and government officials between Nigerian and United States citizens to three years.