There are always many reasons to travel and different places you can travel to. From having to travel between two neighboring villages of less than 50 kilometers to traveling between continents which goes into the 10s of thousands of kilometers.
The various reasons to travel could include business, health, leisure, education purposes and among many others. The major attraction to most travel in the world have been travelling from rural areas to urban areas due to the potential of more opportunities.
Like many other developing nations such as, the United States of America is a major travel destination being one of the most developed nations of the world and a global superpower. A lot of people from all countries of the world, therefore, wish to visit America at least once in their lifetime.
A lot of others are looking forward to settling down with the hope that it would be a greener pasture for them.
Over the years, millions of Nigerians have visited the United States of America with many thousands currently living in the country. While visiting has been due to business, tourism or health reasons, staying also has been to find a better means of living.
The United States of America is believed to offer a better working environment and higher standard of living than Nigeria based on all indices. This has always prepared many Nigerians the desire to find their way to the country with the dream of a better life.
Before you can travel out of Nigeria, there are processes a Nigerian must follow to visit the United States of America. The processes are dependent on the reasons of the individual visiting the country. This will further determine the type of U.S visa the individual will apply for.
Type of U.S Visa
The U.S Visa is divided into 2 major types. These include the Nonimmigrant Visa and the Immigrant Visa.
Non-immigrant Visa Type:
The non-immigrant visa type is mainly used by students, businessmen/women, tourists or specialty workers who intend to visit the U.S for a period of time and for a specific purpose.
This type of U.S visa would require proof that you are committed to your current country of residence and thus, have a solid reason to return before the expiration of your visa. You could apply for a non-immigrant visa at the U.S Consulate General in Lagos or the U.S embassy in Abuja.
Immigrant visa type is mostly used by individuals who intend to live permanently in the U.S you have to officially apply for the Legal Permanent Resident in the United States. If your visa is approved, it would be easier to apply for a US citizenship.
An easy way of acquiring this kind of U.S visa is through an employer in the United States of America, which can apply on your behalf with the intent of employing you for a permanent job position. To apply for an immigrant visa, you would need to use the U.S Consulate General in Lagos as the U.S embassy in Abuja does not process immigrant visas.
Fees For Non-Immigrant Visas:
If you want to apply for a non-immigrant visa to the U.S from Nigeria, you would be expected to pay between $160 (N31,200) and $205 (N39,975). Most of this U.S visa type includes tourist, business, student and journalist/media pays $160. A fiancé (e) of a U.S citizen is expected to pay $265.
Apart from this initial fee, you are also expected to pay a fraud prevention and detection fee of $500 in Nigeria, if you are applying through intra-company transfer visa application.
Bank Payment Options:
You can either pay through cash or online payment. You can pay cash at any GTBank branch, while you could use the U.S visa online payment link on GTBank website. The GTBank U.S visa online payment link found at GTbank banking service. After payment, you will need to schedule an interview through schedule my appointment or through their call center.
Remember that you’ll need the receipt number on the payment slip in order to schedule for visa appointment. The interview should be scheduled few hours after your payment, as the available dates get taken fast by other visa applicants. You are also required to fill your DS-160 form before attending the interview.
U.S Visa Processing Time
Visa processing time usually takes 3 working business days. However, there are circumstances where the visa takes more than 3 days for special cases. Sample above is flowchart of K1 processing time. At least you know the time frame and the processes involved during the processing time.
Photos and Fingerprints
You are expected to bring a colored passport photograph to the embassy/consulate for your interview. Upon arrival at the embassy/consulate, your fingerprints would be taken. You should keep in mind that your head must fill up 50 to 70 percent of the passport photograph’s total height.
The distance between your eyes to the bottom of the passport photographs should also be about 55 to 70 percent of the height of the passport photograph. The photo dimensions should be between 600 x 600 pixels and 1200 x 1200 pixels.
You should not allow hair to cover your face, neither are caps or headgears allowed except if they have religious significance.
Before you can apply for an immigrant visa, you are expected to have a petition filed by a potential employer or a qualified relative in the U.S. You are also expected to pay an immigrant fee of $165 before you are allowed to travel to the U.S.
U.S to require online form from immigrant visa applicants starting Oct. 2 2014
Staring October 2, applicants for immigrant visas to the United States will be required to complete an online visa application, the US Embassy in Nigeria said Tuesday.
In a blog entry from the U.S embassy, the consulate said applicants will need to complete the application at U.S department of state website before going to their U.S visa interview appointment Nigeria.
Applicants who appear for an interview without completed application forms will be advised to reschedule the interview by visiting the online appointment website at apply for a U.S visa website or by calling the Embassy’s Visa Information and Appointment Service
However, applicants will be required to reschedule their visa appointment if they failed to complete DS-260 forms, and may need to wait three to six weeks after their initial visa interview appointment.
To avoid long delays, complete the DS-260 ahead of time for your interview appointment date, the U.S Embassy reported on their website DS-260 required prior to visa interview
Tracking And Receiving Your Passport:
Your passport can be picked up from the DHL document collection office after your U.S visa has been approved. You are not expected to pay any fee for the collection of your passport. The Visa and Passport collection fee have been added to your visa application fee.
You may choose to pay N4,000, if you want Premium delivery service. The premium delivery service is available for only applicants in Port Harcourt.
To pick up your passport, you are required to bring along an original photo ID card issued by the government as well as a photocopy. If a relative or friend is picking it up on your behalf, the person would need to bring along a letter of authorization signed by you as well as a photo ID card issued by the government and the photocopy.
You could track your passport by visiting track and retrieve my passport of the website, typing your passport number in the space provided and clicking on Track My Passport. Alternatively you could send a message to your passport number as the subject or message body to email@example.com and you will receive the status of your passport in an automatic response.
U.S Visa Appointment Tips
- Be honest during your interview
- Have a good purpose for visiting the U.S
- Have a strong reason to return back home to Nigeria
- Do not join visa seminars
- Visit the U.S Embassy’s official website before your visa appointment date
- No need to bring your bank documents and land titles – Not a guarantee for a visa
- Know that Embassy does not discriminate choosing qualified applicants
- There is no quota per day for number of applicants
- It’s easy to be approved for U.S visa if you have been to other countries
- There is no dress code but applicants should wear decent attire
- Be at the U.S Embassy at least 15 minutes before your interview