By Victoria Ojeme
The United States Embassy in Nigeria has announced November 24 as date for the opening of international student visa applications with an expected heavy surge following the lifting of travel curbs for vaccinated travellers.
The US travel restrictions were first imposed in early 2020 to check the spread of COVID-19. With the US presidential proclamation coming to an end on November 8, applications for all types of visas will become eligible.
Accounting period for a US visa for various purposes like work, business and studies is between September of a year to August the next year, officials said.
The US embassy in Nigeria said it would be expanding operations to better serve the student population in the country through a special procedure for those who need to renew the student visas to continue their course of study, and a series of dedicated interview days for prospective new students.
The embassy said that an individual may be eligible for a priority student visa interview slot if the applicant is a prospective student seeking an F1 visa appointment and if he has not been refused an F1 visa in the past six months.
Interested applicants are expected to submit required documents as soon as possible to take advantage of the limited opportunity.
The statement titled, ‘US student visa surge begins November 24, 2021,’ said requests for appointment reschedule would not be accommodated in order to schedule as many qualified and interested students as possible.
For students in Abuja, the surge days was fixed for December 8, 15, and January 12.
The mission said, “These surge days will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To make an appointment in Abuja, visit www.ustraveldocs.com/ng and review the criteria and instructions to request an emergency student visa interview, and prepare the below documents: A completed DS-160; an approved I-20 ; receipt for your I-901 SEVIS fee; a GTBank (MRV) receipt for your visa fee; a scan of the biopage of your current valid passport and your passport photograph meeting these requirements.
“Lagos student surge days will take place on November 24, December 8, and 15. These surge days will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To make an appointment in Lagos, you should e-mail all the documents to [email protected]”
To be eligible for a special application procedure, the embassy added that such “must be renewing a student visa that is still valid or has expired within the past 24 months and are renewing your visa either to continue participation in the same major course of study even if at a different institution or attend the same institution even if in a different major course of study.”
The applicants are required to present a passport containing the expired student visa, if that passport is expired, adding that a current valid passport and full transcript are also required.
Abuja applicants were directed to log on to www.ustraveldocs.com/ng and follow the instructions to complete their visa application while Lagos applicants were required to bring all the requirements to the US consulate at 12:30-1:00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, between November 25 and January 5.