The United States Mission in Nigeria has said it will prioritise visa applications by Nigerians students who hope to resume academic studies in the States by September 2021.
This was contained in a statement signed by the US Mission Country Consular Coordinator, Susan Tuller and released by Temitayo Famutimi of the Public Affairs Section of the US Consulate General on Friday.
“The U.S. Mission will prioritize student visa applicants and ensure Nigerian students resuming this Fall get visa interview appointments well in advance of their program start date,” United States Mission Country Consular Coordinator Susan Tuller said on Friday.
Tuller said the embassy in Abuja and Consulate General in Lagos will make every effort 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 remains a high priority for the U.S. Mission in Nigeria,” Tuller said.
Tuller stated that the embassy “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.
The coordinator advised students that “If your U.S. studies are scheduled to begin this Fall, we encourage you to schedule your appointment as quickly as possible.”
Tuller explained that all student visa appointments must be booked through the U.S. Travel Docs website at www.ustraveldocs.com/ng/. She warned 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 they may not always provide the correct information, which can harm an applicant’s chances of qualifying for the 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,” Tuller said.
United States Mission says Nigeria sends more students to American colleges and universities than any other country in Africa and is the eleventh largest source worldwide of international students to the United States.
In the academic year 2019-2020, a record-breaking number of nearly 14,000 Nigerians pursued graduate and undergraduate degrees in the United States.
Over the last 21 years, the EducationUSA Advising Centers in Nigeria have directly contributed to an increase in the number of highly qualified Nigerian applicants to U.S. institutions. In 2020, advisees of EducationUSA services received scholarships worth $28 million.