These are the extracts from questions and answers as explained by two ladies, consular officials of the US embassy in Abuja recently. The questions were posted online by various stakeholders. The Consular officers dig deep in answering online questions on why many Nigerians failed to get US visas.


Why many Nigerians failed to get US visas

As a preamble, one of the officers explained that they have sent thousands of Nigerians to the US yearly for various reasons, from tourism, visiting, studies etc

Why is it difficult to get an American visa if you have not to travel outside of Africa? And is this a set criterion for getting a visa (we get the question a lot)
No, that is not a set criterion to receive a visa to have travel elsewhere.
The primary criteria for receiving a tourist or business visa is that the person needs to demonstrate they will come home after they use the visa,  they have resident here in Nigeria they will return to.
Further explanations on the above question: Travel history is part of what we look at in assessing the overall application. We are looking for a strong tie to Nigeria. The strong traveller often demonstrates a strong tie to Nigeria as well. But it is not a requirement. people often think it is. If you have travelled we want to see it. It helps paint the picture of the overall application.


Another question we get a lot is about a refund if one is not given a visa. People often say well l didn’t get a visa I want my money back.


Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do.
This is something that comes up all the time, you’re not paying for the visa, you are paying for the visa application fee. You’re paying for your case to look at. Not the actual results of that. We can’t make any change to that decision on how visas are paid for and the amount are made for by the state department and US Congress, we cannot change any of that, unfortunately.

A lot of people wants to apply for the visa lottery and why it is not possible anymore.

The visa lottery is a wonderful opportunity that really demonstrated a lot about what makes the US diverse.
Visa lottery countries are countries where we are seeking to increase the diversity of that particular nation in the US
The wonderful thing about Nigeria is that there are so many fantastic diaspora groups that are already in Nigeria.
When we reach a certain level of Nigeria national from Nigeria, there is no need to encourage more diversity through that process. Other countries have significantly fewer individuals travelling to the US for immigration purposes.
Nigeria has done a wonderful job in creating the communities and integrating Nigeria culture into US culture and there is no need for that integration anymore. And that is why the process has been shot down.

 Q.4. Family Visa

Someone who has a valid American Visa and want to apply for his wife, children and their family to get a visa as well.

Often times we see families want to take their children, maybe the husband has travelled for business and now want to take his wife and children (let say to Disney) or to New York City, a lot of people want to go to New York City and see the statue of liberty.
It is not guaranteed that because one family member has a visa that everyone else will get it. Another thing is that as we look at each person, and each family and their circumstances and individual situation, so just because your best friend get a visa doesn’t mean your wife will get it, each personal situation is difficult. And as individuals, we must always go back to the idea of having a resident here in Nigeria that individual and family will come home to. It is not a blanket answer.

Q.5.  What do you do to get your family member a visa?

You don’t do anything. What you can do is help them fill an application. People sometimes have questions during that process, you have gone through it, you knew the steps, you support the applicant through the process, just because you have a visa does mean your family member will get it, they need to apply. And they will be invited for an interview.


Q.6. Why is it that the US Embassy is basing so much information on the  DF160?

The reason why is that, it is the foundation of your interview. That is your opportunity to present your history and the reasons, we will use that as a jump point for questions, we don’t have the time to look at the 100 documents you are bringing, but we are using the DF160 documents like that, they will look at it and ask you questions, that form the interview. They will look at the countries you put that you have travelled to, then they will look at your passport. It will encourage anyone to fill out the DF160 completely and truthfully
It is important to remember that when you are filling out the form online at the computer and answering the questions and click on submit, that is a legal and official document that you’re submitting meaning the information you provided should be accurate and truthful and precise.

Q.7. J1 VISA:

J1 Visa is very interesting, we’ve sent a lot of Nigerians to the US on J1 Visa.
There are really exciting programmes that happen on J-Visa they do incredible work with Nigerians which includes:
Visitors exchange programmes
Student exchange purposes
Research opportunities.
J- visa also has some criteria.  One of them is the two years rule that means once you have completed the two exceptions to come back as a tourist or another visa class, there is a time frame that you need to wait. Certain exceptions are depending on the rule or type of programme, and I will encourage applicants to specifically note the Js1 Visa and those that have these questions should visit the website If your programme falls under the exception, then you have a different system process you need to follow. And if your programme falls within those two years, then you have to complete those periods.
The purpose of J1 – Visa is for people to acquire skills that they can take back to Nigeria to enhance their communities and their work.
US embassy is investing in Nigeria future through that programme.

Q.8. Why are people not told why they might be refused a visa.
It is important to know that every applicant is given a written response, as well as a response from the officer about it. And the written response thus say the requirements for the visa. Tie to Nigeria as I said before, that can be overemphasised. Get the idea, the tie can be demonstrated to your professional work, where you work, how long you work, your school, your family. Your connection to the community. They will show in the written response. And that’s the details in response that you will come back. Those are the criteria that are used that are important.
Q. 9. What can an applicant do that got her visa cancelled?
It is the same thing, you must come back for another interview. You’re absolutely welcome to reapply, we can’t give you the details and we don’t know the specifics on this, but if your visa has been cancelled make another application and come in.

Students with student visas into the United States. It’s very important that you need to have all your papers with you on the aeroplane, not in your suitcase. Also, you need to have your 1-20 form including all your papers with you so that when you get off the aeroplane and meet with customs, you can answer their questions and provide them with all the information they need. They often get feedback that some students kept their I-20 or in their suitcase and also those going for the conference should have their papers with them.

Medical visa is permissible on a tourist B1, B2 tourist visa, what they state and want to see is that when you’re coming for the interview, you let them know about the medical treatment because the thing with medical is that medical treatment is very expensive, and when you’re coming for a visa into the USA for medical tourism it is completely ok, they just want to know you guys will afford it. Make sure you are all set, there is no specific visa for this purpose, just explain your financial planning details but there are no specific criteria for B1 and B2.

That’s all for now on why many Nigerians failed to get US visas, updates or the continuation of the questions and answers may come later


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