The US embassy has declared a priority appointment for Nigerian students seeking visas to study in the United States.
“The US Mission will prioritise student visa applicants and ensure that Nigerian students resuming this Fall receive visa interview appointments well in advance of their programme start date,” said Susan Tuller, Country Consular Coordinator for the US Mission.
Tuller stated that the embassy in Abuja and the Consulate General in Lagos will make every effort to assist student visa applicants in a timely manner while ensuring the safety of staff and customers.
“As we continue to prioritise the health and safety of our employees and clients, processing student visas remains a top priority for the United States Mission in Nigeria,” Tuller said.
According to Tuller, the embassy “will raise the number of student visa appointments in May and June to ensure that we can give appointments to as many students as possible.”
“If your U.S. studies are scheduled to begin this Fall, we urge you to arrange your appointment as soon as possible,” the coordinator told students.
Tuller clarified that all student visa appointments must be scheduled via the U.S. Travel Docs website, which can be found at www.ustraveldocs.com/ng/. She cautioned applicants against using third-party providers such as touts and fixers who arrange visa appointments.
According to her, agents or third parties often aim to profit by charging a fee for their services and may not always have accurate details, which can jeopardise an applicant’s chances of qualifying for the visa.
“When Nigerian students study at one of our world-class educational institutions, both Nigeria and the United States prosper. We invite you to visit EducationUSA Advising Centers at our American Spaces in Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, and Calabar, as well as educationUSA.state.gov, to plan for your educational opportunity in the United States,” Tuller said.
According to the United States Mission, Nigeria sends more students to American colleges and universities than any other African country and is the world’s eleventh largest source of foreign students to the United States.
During the academic year 2019-2020, approximately 14,000 Nigerians pursued graduate and undergraduate degrees in the United States, setting a new record.
The EducationUSA Advising Centers in Nigeria have directly led to a rise in the number of highly skilled Nigerian applicants to U.S. institutions over the last 21 years. Scholarships totaling $28 million will be awarded to EducationUSA advisees in 2020.