The U.S. Embassy says no fewer than 7,000 Nigerians are studying in the U.S. The Embassy made this known during tour of its Consular Section by media professionals in Abuja on Wednesday. The Consul General, Mr William Laidlaw, also 66 per cent of tourist visa applications were approved in 2014. Laidlaw said the U.S. visa application processes were simple and not as stringent as people thought.
“Between 2009 and 2014, visa applications rose by 345 per cent in our missions based Abuja and Lagos. So, Nigeria is an expanding economy, Nigeria is an expanding country. “Nigerian middle class is becoming more and more prominent and growing. Nigerian businesses coincided with the economy are growing as well. “All those things we see reflected in the growth rate we see in visa applications”, he said.
Laidlaw explained that the U.S. Mission was working to improve and trying to make its visa processes better for Nigerians by decentralising it.
“To really qualify for a visit to the U.S., you have to show you have social and economic ties sufficient to meet the immigration terms we have in our laws. “To have those social and economic ties, usually means somebody who has developed a career, developed a household and has done something to develop himself within Nigeria.”
He explained that those who had social and economic ties usually had easier time and more chance to obtain U.S. visa than somebody who is just starting out. He, however, said young business people or students who did not receive a visa should not be discouraged as they could be successful the next time they applied.
Laidlaw said people who were refused visa could re-apply if they felt that the situations had changed, adding, statistics showed that many who re-applied were issued visas. “If you can establish your social and economic ties and we understand who you are in Nigerian context, that allows us to make an evaluation judgment.
“It’s very hard for very young people, I’m sorry, but that’s the way the law is written”, he said.

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