The United States of America has announced that starting March 1, 2023, it would 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.
It disclosed this in a press statement released yesterday, adding that the visa application fee, currently at $160, would not increase as a result of the increased visa validity.
The statement noted that increasing the visa validity was one of several initiatives taken by the United States to reduce visa appointment wait times in Nigeria.
It also noted that the US Mission continues to offer No-Interview Visa Renewals to those who meet the eligibility criteria, adding that appointments for No-Interview Visa Renewals were readily available.
It added, “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 three 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 authorisation or remained beyond your permitted time in the United States.”
The statement further noted that applicants could visit the US embassy website for further information, adding that if an applicant was qualified based on criteria on the website, they could start the application on the dedicated website.
The statement posited that processing times for the programme were expected to be up to two months, “and you will not be able to retrieve your passport during that time.”
The statement noted that each applicant must individually meet the criteria; “minors can apply without an interview only if they meet the eligibility criteria on their own.”
Regarding emergency appointments, the statement averred that if an applicant has a life-or-death emergency, the individual may request an expedited, in-person interview; however, to accommodate no-interview visa renewals, appointments would be very limited.
Continuing, the statement added: “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 Apply for a U.S. Visa | Home – Nigeria (English) or +234-1-227-8955 to request an emergency appointment.”