The United States Embassy in Nigeria has announced an indefinite suspension of interview waiver program otherwise known as the “Dropbox ” for applicants seeking visa renewal.
The U.S. Mission to Nigeria said in a statement to National Wire on Tuesday that it was suspending indefinitely the process after the close of business on may 14 and visa applications will no longer be accepted by DHL in Nigeria.
This is as it noted that those who have already submitted their passports via “Dropbox” for processing either at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, or the Consulate General in Lagos will not be impacted by this change.
Before now, Nigerians with expired nonimmigrant visas used to bypass the rigours of visa interviews and the uncertainty of the issuance by utilising the “dropbox” with a high percent success rate.
But the Consulate in Lagos had in recent time been redirecting visa renewal applicants who already applied through the “dropbox” process to come for a follow-up interview at the Consulate through a process known as 221G, leading to many being refused visas.
On Saturday, May 11, interview slots were specifically allotted to applicants invited under the 221G process to the Lagos Consulate General.
The U.S said in the fiscal year 2018 alone, it issued a total of 143,783 nonimmigrant visas in Nigeria and the country also fell into the category of nations with citizens overstaying their visas in the U.S., making President Donald Trump call for stringent measures against the countries of “overstayers.”
“All applicants in Nigeria seeking a nonimmigrant visa to the United States must apply online, and will be required to appear in-person at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or U.S. Consulate General in Lagos to submit their application for review,” the statement said.
It, however, said the processing of diplomatic and official (A, G, and NATO class) visa applications will continue unchanged.
“Mission Nigeria’s processing procedures are regularly reviewed in order to assess our ability to quickly, efficiently, and securely process visa applications,” added theEmbassy. “The U.S. Mission is taking this step to provide more efficient customer service and promote legitimate travel, and will continue to facilitate applications of established travelers to the best of its ability.”