By Vera Samuel Anyagafu
It was a moment of joy for the United State’s Ambassador, Terrence P Macaulay, as well as staffers of the embassy as they ushered in their new Consul General to take up the mantle of leadership in overseeing visa matters for Nigeria applicants.
The new Consul General, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins who was honoured with a pleasurable welcome reception at his residence, and with a display of indisputable affection, disclosed that he has come prepared to work with a team of dedicated consular officers in a manner that is expected to leave Nigeria applicants smiling all the way from the consulate, provided they have the required documents for visa issuance.
Mr. Hawkins also expressed his commitment to ensuring that every intending Nigeria applicant, gets the best of consular services, adding that, “ I am particular happy to come down to this friendly Country for this special assignment, and I feel already committed having the presence of this number of Nigerians here in my honour.”
Mr. Hawkins also stated that Nigeria is a Country that has issues and we are concerned about its security. It is Country which we have a huge interest and it will take unity to handle the issue of security in the Country.
Guidelines on Italian Visas
In order to meet up with the increasing demand for Italian visas by numerous Nigeria applicants, the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry recently, joined some embassies in the outsourcing of visa application processes to the VFS Global.
Following the development, Nigerians who desire Italian visa for various intended reasons are hereby notified that all applications, legalization of documents and scheduling of appointments should be directed to the embassy’s outsourced centre.
An applicant who is a first timer should note that the minimum time it takes to process visa application by the embassy is 25 calendar days, while maximum processing time is 40 calendar days.
In the case of an applicant who travels frequently, the time expected to have the visa ready is 15 calendar days at the minimum, and 25 calendar days at the maximum.
Applicants can visit the visa application center to find out the status of their applications from Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9 am and 4pm, except during holidays observed by Nigeria or Italy government.
Applicants also can track their application by calling the outsourced centre helpline and, or connecting their website, same time and days as stated above.
It is worthy of note that neither the Consulate nor the application center is responsible for the decision taken on a passport that has been lying in wait for collection for up to 90 days, counting from the day the passport arrived the center.
In other words, passports that were not collected before the stipulated deadline shall be returned to the Consulate General. Every applicant is expected to provide the new bio-metric passports.
It is mandatory for applicants to submit alongside their application form, typed information containing full Name(s), beginning with surname, date of birth, passport number, personal phone number and an active e-mail address.