The United States of America is and will always remain the dream home of people from different parts of the world. The reason for this is obvious. The USA offers opportunities for work, education, health, habitation, and lots more which most persons from developing countries find juicy.
Do you also desire to travel to any of the states in the US? Then relax as you have met face to face with every information about U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visas and the requirements to apply for each. You can also learn about the different types of visas, how to pay the required visa application fee and the procedures behind booking an interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos.
USA Visa Types
Typically, a foreign national wishing to enter the United States must first secure a visa, either an immigrant visa for long-term residency or a nonimmigrant visa for short-term visitation. The Visa Waiver Program may allow citizens of certain nations to visit the United States without a visa. Before beginning travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, all visitors must acquire authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) system.
You will require a nonimmigrant visa if you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program and are going for any reason such as to study, work, engage in an exchange program, or for any other reason.
Entry to the United States is not guaranteed by a visa. A visa only signifies that a U.S. consular officer has decided you are qualified to request access to the country for a certain reason.
USA Visas for Non-Immigrants
Tourists, business travelers, students, and specialty employees who want to stay in the country temporarily to pursue particular objectives use nonimmigrant visas. Most nonimmigrant visa applicants are required by U.S. visa laws and regulations to prove to the consular officer that they have close ties to their home country and that they intend to leave the nation after their temporary stay. You can apply for a nonimmigrant visa at the American Embassy in Nigeria in Abuja and the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos.
USA Visas for Immigrants
People who want to live permanently in the United States need an immigrant visa. An application for admission as a Legal Permanent Resident to the United States is made possible by an immigrant visa, which is also a possible step toward obtaining U.S. citizenship. Most immigrant visa applications start with a petition submitted to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States by a qualifying family member who is a citizen or legal permanent resident on the applicant’s behalf. A U.S. company may also submit a petition on behalf of a foreign national they desire to hire for a legitimate permanent position.
The U.S. Embassy in Abuja does not handle applications for immigrant visas from Nigeria. Applicants from across Nigeria apply for immigrant visas at the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos. Any questions regarding the immigrant visa process can be directed to the call center by phone at +23412278955 or by email at [email protected]
USA Visa Fees
Before applying for a nonimmigrant visa, all applicants—including minors—must pay a non-refundable, non-transferable visa application fee, often known as the MRV charge. Whether a visa is granted or not, the application fee for a visa must be paid. The price depends on the kind of visa you’re applying for. Each nonimmigrant visa type’s application fees are listed on this website. The majority of visa applicants in Nigeria will pay between $160, $190, or $265 at GT Bank depending on their visa class.
Please take note that only the nonimmigrant visa application fees are included. Detailed information on additional visa fees must be paid to the National Visa Center, the American Embassy, the American Consulate General, or the Department of Homeland Security.
Although fees are listed in US dollars, the local currency must be used to make payments. If you have an account with GTBank, you can pay your charge online or at any GTBank location. Here is more information on payment choices. Click here to locate a GTBank or GTBank branch.
Payments paid for nonimmigrant visa application fees (sometimes referred to as the MRV fee) on or after October 1, 2022, are valid for 365 days starting from the day a receipt for payment of the MRV fee is provided. During this 365-day window, candidates must arrange an interview appointment or apply for an interview waiver.
Please be aware that applicants have 365 days to schedule their interview or submit their waiver application. There is no requirement the interview must occur during the 365 days. All receipts for payment of MRV fees issued before October 1, 2022, were extended until September 30, 2023, and remain valid until this date.
USA Visa Scheduled Wait Times
All U.S. Embassies and Consulates work to process applications as quickly as possible, and they all make an effort to minimize appointment wait times. Having said that, the earlier you schedule your appointment, the more probable it is that you will be allowed to choose the date and time of your interview.
Applicants for nonimmigrant visas are urged to submit their applications at least three (3) months before the desired date of travel. So keep in mind to apply early!
Visa Processing Time
Although the average processing time for a visa is three working days, processing times for particular cases can vary depending on the circumstances of each client and any additional unique needs.
To schedule an appointment, click here.
USA Visa Waiver Program
According to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), citizens of a selected group of nations are not required to obtain a visa to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor visa purposes) for stays of up to 90 days. Not all nations are VWP participants, and not all visitors from VWP nations are permitted to use the program. Travelers under the VWP are required to enroll in the Department of Homeland Security’s OBIM program, submit an application for authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), and undergo screening at the port of entry into the United States.
Eligible countries for VWP are;
Republic of Korea
Nationals of member countries can travel without a visa for tourist and business travel of 90 days or less provided they meet the following requirements:
- Possess a passport with an integrated chip (e-passport))
- Register online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
- Meet the standard VWP conditions mentioned below
Qualification to enter the USA on a Visa Waiver Program
To enter the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program, travelers must:
- Be a citizen of one of the countries listed above, and in possession of a VWP-compliant passport.
- Possess the ESTA authorization
- Stay in the U.S. for 90 days or less
- Plan to travel for:
a. Business- The purpose of your planned travel is to consult with business associates, travel for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or conference on specific dates, settle an estate or negotiate a contract.
b. Pleasure/Tourism- The purpose of your planned travel is recreational, including tourism, vacation (holiday), amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature, and participation by amateurs, who will receive no remuneration, in musical, sports and similar events or contests.
c. Transit- If you are traveling through the United States.
AND if entering the U.S. by air or sea must be:
- Holding a return or onward ticket. If traveling on an electronic ticket, a copy of the itinerary must be carried out for presentation to the immigration inspector. Travelers with onward tickets terminating in Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, or the Caribbean Islands must be legal residents of these areas
- Entering the United States aboard an air or sea carrier that has agreed to participate in the program. This includes aircraft of a U.S. corporation that has agreed with the Department of Homeland Security to carry passengers under the Visa Waiver Program.
If entering the U.S. by land from Canada or Mexico, the documentary requirements are the same, except there is no requirement for round-trip tickets and signatory carriers. You must satisfy the inspecting officer that you have funds to support yourself during your stay and to depart the U.S.
All VWP travelers, regardless of age or type of passport used, must present a machine-readable passport. In addition, depending on when VWP travelers’ passports were issued, other passport requirements apply:
- Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended on or after October 26, 2006, require an integrated chip with information from the data page (e-Passport).
- Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended between October 26, 2005, and October 25, 2006, require digital photographs printed on the data page.
- Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended before October 26, 2005have no further requirements.
Visitors must have passports that are valid for at least six months beyond the length of their anticipated stay in the United States to enter the country. The six-month rule does not apply to nationals of the nations mentioned in the Six Month Club Update; they require a passport that is valid for the duration of their anticipated stay. The Visa Waiver Program requires that your passport be valid for at least 90 days if you plan to travel without a visa. You will be allowed entry into the country of the United States up until the day your passport expires if it is only good for 90 days.
If you are a traveler from a VWP country and your passport does not meet these requirements, you may want to consider obtaining a new VWP-compliant passport from the passport issuing authority in your country of citizenship. Otherwise, you cannot travel under VWP and you must obtain a visa in your valid passport for entry into the U.S.
Ineligibility for Visa Waiver Program
Some visitors might not be qualified for visa-free entry to the United States under the VWP. These people include those who have been deported from or refused admission to the United States, as well as those who have previously overstayed their visas under the visa waiver program or have criminal records (regardless of whether they have been the subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other act of clemency). Such visitors must submit a visa application. They risk having their entry into the United States denied if they try to travel without a visa.
Under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, those who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country) OR travelers who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan and/or Syria are no longer eligible to travel on the VWP. For details regarding changes under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, please visit http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/visa-waiver-program.
Travelers under the VWP are exempt from this restriction if their purpose for visiting any of those nations was to serve in the armed forces of a VWP nation or to fulfill their official duties as full-time employees of a VWP nation. If it is in the interests of American law enforcement or national security, the Secretary of Homeland Security may decide to waive this VWP prohibition. Such waivers will be granted only on a case-by-case basis. As a general matter, categories of travelers who may be eligible for a waiver include:
- Individuals who have traveled to Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Somalia, and/or Yemen on behalf of international organizations, regional organizations, or sub-national governments on official duty;
- Individuals who have traveled to Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Somalia, and/or Yemen on behalf of a humanitarian non-governmental organization (NGO);
- Individuals who have traveled to Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Somalia, and/or Yemen as a journalist for reporting purposes;
- Individuals who traveled to Iran for legitimate business-related purposes following the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (July 14, 2015); and
- Individuals who have traveled to Iraq for legitimate business-related purposes
How to Renew Your USA Visa
Some visa applicants who have already received a U.S. visa may apply to renew their visas without appearing in person for an interview. Applicants renewing a B1/B2, C1/D, F, M, J, H, or L visa in the same visa classification as their prior nonimmigrant visa are eligible for this service. For the opportunity to waive the interview, all applicants must meet the prerequisites. Each applicant in a group or family that is applying must meet all requirements to be eligible for an interview waiver.
Interview Waiver (IW) Qualifications
- Applicant must possess a full-validity C1/D, F, M, J, H, or L visa that expired within the past 24 months from the date of application or will expire in the next three months from the date of application. (the date of application is the same date as the scheduled appointment date)
- Applicant must be applying for a visa in the same visa classification as the expired/expiring visa.
- Applicant must be a citizen or resident of Nigeria.
- Applicant must not have been refused a visa since the issuance of the previous visa or had a visa revoked, or have ever required a waiver.
- Applicant must possess all issued passports covering the entire period since receiving the previous visa and the passport with the most recent visa.
- The applicant has never been arrested or convicted of any crime or offense in the United States, even if the applicant has later received a waiver or pardon.
- The applicant has never worked without authorization or remained beyond their permitted time in the United States.
- Applicant (if under 18) must be able to submit a photocopy of parent(s) valid visa(s) unless the parent(s) are also applying at the same time and the minor meets all the above qualifications.
I hope this page has been very helpful.
You can kickstart your journey to the US by applying for a visa today. You can click here to get started.