How Get a U.S. Visa in Nigeria

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Known as the land of opportunity, the United States continues to attract visitors from around the world. For Nigerians intent on visiting the United States, for whatever purpose, they must first obtain a travel visa. Getting a U.S. visa, however, requires adequate preparation. You will need to organize certain supporting documents. If your visa application is accepted, you are free to travel to the United States under the terms of the visa.

Things You'll Need

  • Passport
  • Application fee
  • DS-160 application form (online)
  • Proof of employment (payslips)
  • Invitation letter
  • Evidence of local community ties (optional)
  • Pay for the visa application. The US embassy requires all visa application fees to be paid at GTBank. Specifically, you must pay for a Machine Readable Visa Fee, also known as an MRV fee. The amount paid will depend on the type of visa you seek. The fee will be used later during the application process.

  • Complete an online visa application. Use the DS-160 application form, and include your date of birth, a history of other countries you have visited, your employment information and any other information required by the form. Be sure that all information is accurate. Any inaccuracies will slow down your visa interview process or even cause your request to be rejected.

  • Select an interview date and time that does not conflict with your schedule. You will be prompted to choose between Lagos or Abuja for your appointment location. Keep in mind that you will have to pick up your travel documents from the same embassy location where you conducted your interview.

  • Organize your supporting documents. You will be asked several questions during the interview, so you should arrive prepared to answer and prove your answers. You will need proof of employment, so the last three months of payslips will be useful. Also, obtain an invitation letter from a family member or friend that is an American citizen. A major concern of the interviewing officer will be whether or not you will return to Nigeria. To lessen the concern that you might stay in America, be sure to bring evidence of your social, familial and religious ties to the community in which you live. Thus, evidence of participation in a church group or another local organization will be a helpful supplement to your application.

  • Go to your visa interview on the specific date. Be sure to arrive early as the embassy is always very busy. Once you are called for your interview, be sure to answer all questions truthfully and provide your documents to support your visa request.

Tips & Warnings

  • When trying to select an appointment date, be aware that you may not find a date until several months into the future. Be sure to set up your interview in advance so that you can get a date within the time span you need it.
  • Keep in mind that there are scalpers who will select several visa interview dates with an eye towards selling them. If you cannot find a date on the online calendar, send an email to the embassy asking for assistance.

References

  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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