America relaxes visa rules for Nigerians

Posted by News Express | 2 April 2017 | 1,979 times

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•U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington.

Nigerians may no longer need to tender superfluous documents and go through rigorous processes in procuring visas to the United States of America when the new visa regime that tends to relax visa conditions for them commences. It was gathered yesterday that the administration of President Donald Trump has made the passage of Nigerians to the United States of America less cumbersome.

It was also learnt that the Federal Government has succeeded in securing a relaxed and more humane visa application process for Nigerians following the clamour by the international community that greeted recent maltreatment of Nigerians in the Diasporas. The federal Government, it was further learnt, has promised to reciprocate the same for Americans who wish to visit Nigeria.

Further details of the latest development on the regime of relaxed visa conditions for Nigerians were scanty as at press time yesterday but by the stroke of pen of the newly secured process, Nigerians may no longer need to tender extraneous documents, compared to what used to obtain.

The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, had made it clear that America would not discriminate against any Nigerian on the basis of religion or on the new visa regime, citing the country’s crucial leadership role in the world, which makes it difficult for the country to be blacklisted. Analysts are, however, not easily persuaded to believe that Nigerians are not victims of the ongoing immigration overhaul by the Donald Trump administration that recently intensified a crackdown on immigrants from specific countries across the world, most of them Muslim-majority countries. Although the US State Department’s position that the new rules would not affect Nigeria, reported cases of deportation involving Nigerians in recent weeks have been rife.

Information on the official website of the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria which gives information about U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visas and the requirements and also shows how to pay the required visa application fee, book an interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, are yet to change or reflect the details of the latest visa conditions.

For instance, information on the website still says: “If you apply for a B-1/B-2 visa, you must demonstrate to a consular officer that you qualify for a U.S. visa in accordance with the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 214(b) of the INA presumes that every B-1/B-2 applicant is an intending immigrant. You must overcome this legal presumption by showing:

“That the purpose of your trip to the U.S. is for a temporary visit, such as business, pleasure, or medical treatment.

“That you plan to remain in the U.S. for a specific, limited period of time.

“Evidence of funds to cover your expenses while in the United States.

“That you have a residence outside the U.S as well as other binding social or economic ties, that will ensure your return abroad at the end of your visit.

Personal or domestic employees and crewmembers working aboard vessels within the Outer Continental Shelf may qualify for B-1 visas under certain circumstances.”

“The B-1/B-2 visitor visa is for people traveling to the United States temporarily for business (B-1) or for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). Generally, the B-1 visa is for travelers consulting with business associates, attending scientific, educational, professional or business conventions/conferences, settling an estate or negotiating contracts. The B-2 visa is for travel that is recreational in nature, including tourism, visits with friends or relatives, medical treatment and activities of a fraternal, social or service nature. Often, the B-1 and B-2 visas are combined and issued as one visa: the B-1/B-2,” information on the website adds. (Independent on Sunday)

Source: News Express

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