Nigerians and residents of Nigeria who wish to apply for a visa to the United States would have to attend their visa interviews in 2024 as all earlier slots have been fully booked.
A check on the U.S Visa application platform indicates that all opened dates have been booked hence no available dates. Visa applicants may keep checking the website for the latest available dates.
The global outbreak of coronavirus pandemic forced U.S embassies across the globe to limit visa services to specific types of immigrant and emergency visas. The U.S Embassy in Nigeria was no exception as it limited visa processing to a number of non-immigrant and immigrant visas in order to protect the health and safety of the embassy personnel and the general public.
However, the Embassy has stated on its website that it “will continue to prioritize travelers with urgent travel needs, although regular visa appointments are made available as the local conditions allow”. Persons with urgent needs to travel, such as Medical, Funeral, Urgent Business Travel, Students, or exchange visitors, can request an Expedited Appointment.
Nigeria has recorded 169,074 cases of COVID-19 with 2,126 deaths as of July 16, 2021, according to stats available on the NCDC website.
US Interview Dates Selling At $1,500
The need for an earlier U.S interview date in Nigeria has given room for corruption as the Sahara Reporters report that a US Embassy syndicate is selling interview dates for N600,000, approximately US$ 1,500.
The report quoted a witness, Mr Kayode Usman (not real name):
“So, it was a friend of mine who reached out yesterday. He discussed the whole thing and said that for now, you cannot get a date earlier than 2024 on the website of the United States. It is there on the US portal. That means from now till 2024, on every workday that is filled up already. It means people have been given dates to come for an interview.
“I now asked how he got the information because I had also applied before. People that are applying are in a more difficult situation except on medical and academic grounds. So, it has now got to the point that they have a kind of third-party arrangement to sell their dates.
“So he told me that she has this agent who is planning to help them a buy date for someone for N600,000. I was surprised. So, before I talked about that information today, I got that information from a US Naval Officer here in Nigeria who said that he saw one for N300,000. He said he was trying to help someone to get a visa date in Abuja. He now sold the date for N600,000.”
“A travel agent confirmed that if you check the website, you cannot find any date earlier than 2024. That was what the Naval Officer also said that both governments are trying to discourage people from travelling.
“I did not think it could be so bad that you now have dates filled up till 2024 from now. So, in my opinion, I think there is connivance between the two governments to frustrate people aspiring to travel. But, now they are just making money from people because people are paying money to buy interview date and they will tell you to go home after spending two minutes with you”.