The United States of America has announced that starting March 1, 2023, it 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.
This was contained in a press statement by the US Consulate General released on Monday.
The PUNCH had reported that the Federal Government had directed the full implementation of a new visa reciprocity policy for citizens of the United States of America with effect from March 1, 2023.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said the directive was issued following approval for the implementation of the new Bilateral Consular Policy Agreements between the two governments.
According to Aregbesola, the agreements amongst others 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 Nigeria and the United States of America.
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.
“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 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.
“Please see our website at https://ng.usembassy.gov/visas/ nonimmigrant-visas/ for further information.
“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.
“Each applicant must individually meet the criteria; minors can apply without an interview only if they meet the eligibility criteria on their own.”