By Princess-Ekwi Ajide, Abuja
The United States Embassy in Abuja has begun processing certain non-immigrant visa renewal applications without requiring an interview.
The waiver will cater for visas such as B1/B2, F, M, J (academic only), H, L, or C1/D (combined only);The applicant previously received a U.S. non-immigrant visa that expired within the last 24 months, or will expire in the next three months from the date of application;The previous visa was issued in Nigeria;The previous visa was a full validity, multiple entry visa.
Interview will also be waived if the applicant is applying for the same visa classification as the prior approved visa; the applicant has never been arrested or convicted of any crime in the United States (even if they later received a pardon or waiver);The applicant has never worked without authorization or overstayed in the United States; and the applicant has not had any significant life changes.
A statement from the embassy in Abuja stated each applicant must individually meet all the requirements and noted that a parent’s qualifications cannot extend to a child as the child must independently meet each requirement.
It also said that the number of applicants accepted for the Interview Waiver Program may initially be limited but urged qualified applicants seeking to utilize the no-interview program to set an appointment for document review online at ustraveldocs.com/ng and on the date and time of the appointment, the applicant must drop off all necessary documents at the address specified in their appointment letter:
Required documents include DS-160 confirmation page, valid passport and previous passports containing the most recent visa to the present, I-20 and I-901 SEVIS receipt, DS-2019 (if applicable),New passport photocopy of parent’s visa (if minor).
The statement further disclosed that applicants will not have access to their passport until processing is completed and processing times may vary, but are expected to be up to two months adding that in cases where an interview is deemed necessary, the embassy will return the passport and notify the applicant to set an appointment to appear in person.
Application fees will remain the same and can be found at travel.state.gov. ($160 USD for non-petition-based non-immigrant visas, and $190 USD for petition-based non-immigrant visa categories.)
It however cautioned that third parties unaffiliated with the U.S. Embassy Abuja may seek to take advantage of various visa services to target visa applicants with fraudulent offers or claims saying applicants should rely on information only from genuine sources: travel.state.gov, ng.usembassy.gov/visas/, and ustraveldocs.com/ng.
The statement asked applicants to fill out their forms themselves and make appointments using the official websites.