The U.S. mission in Nigeria, on Friday, announced plans to prioritise student visa applicants.
This, the mission said in a statement, was to ensure that Nigerian students resuming in the fall of 2021 got visa interview appointments in advance of their programme start date.
Susan Tuller, U.S. mission Country Consular Coordinator said that the Embassy in Abuja and Consulate General in Lagos would make efforts to assist student visa applicants in a timely fashion while keeping personnel and customers safe.
“As we continue to prioritise the health and safety of our staff and customers, processing student visas remain a high priority for the U.S. mission in Nigeria.
“We will increase the number of student visa appointments in May and June to ensure that we can offer appointments to as many students as possible.
“If your U.S. studies are scheduled to begin this fall, we encourage you to schedule your appointment as quickly as possible,” Tuller said.
She added that all student visa appointments must be booked through the U.S. Travel Docs website at www.ustraveldocs.com/ng/.
Tuller also warns applicants against the use of third-party services, including touts, and fixers who broker visa appointments.
According to her, agents or third parties often seek to benefit by charging a fee for their services and may not always provide the correct information.
This, she said could harm an applicant’s chances of qualifying for a visa.
“Both Nigeria and the United States benefit when Nigerian students study at one of our world-class educational institutions.
“To prepare for your U.S. educational opportunity, we encourage you to check out EducationUSA Advising Centers at our American Spaces in Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, and Calabar, or at educationUSA.state.gov,” she said.
According to the mission, over the last 21 years, EducationUSA Advising Centers in Nigeria have directly contributed to an increase in the number of highly qualified Nigerian applicants to U.S. institutions.
The mission added that in the 2019/2020 academic year, nearly 14,000 Nigerians pursued graduate and undergraduate degrees in the U.S.