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U.S says suspension of ‘drop box’ visa application in Nigeria stands

THE suspension of non-immigrant visa interview waiver process, popularly known as “drop box,” is yet to be lifted in Nigeria.

The US Mission in Nigeria said this on Friday through a statement on its official twitter page titled,  “Drop Box” Visa Processing Is Not Available in Nigeria, According To U.S. Mission To Nigeria.’’

It can be noted that several news reports have cited that the Biden administration had lifted the suspension.

However, the mission noted that the suspension of the interview waivers for renewals had not been lifted despite the recent reports.

The statement read: “Despite recent media reports, the non-immigrant visa interview waiver process, popularly known as the “drop box,” has been discontinued in Nigeria since 2018. The State Department continually evaluates each country’s eligibility based on numerous factors including overstay rates and visa-related fraud. U.S. Mission Nigeria is committed to promoting legitimate travel to the United States. All applicants who wish to apply for a visa must kindly appear for an interview.’’

The mission had, on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, officially announced the suspension, noting that visa applications would no longer be accepted by DHL in Nigeria.  It added that those who already submitted their passports via “Dropbox” to DHL for processing either at the US Embassy in Abuja, or the Consulate General in Lagos, wouldn’t be affected by the suspension.

The announcement had read, “All applicants in Nigeria seeking a non-immigrant visa to the United States must apply online, and will be required to appear in-person at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or U.S. Consulate General in Lagos to submit their application for review. Applicants must appear at the location they specified when applying for the visa renewal. Mission Nigeria’s processing procedures are regularly reviewed in order to assess our ability to quickly, efficiently, and securely process visa applications. The U.S. Mission is taking this step to provide more efficient customer service and promote legitimate travel, and will continue to facilitate applications of established travellers to the best of its ability.’’

It should be noted that the suspension of “Drop box” visa application in Nigeria was one of the stringent visa policies introduced by the Donald Trump administration which also restricted entry into the US by certain nationals including Nigerians based on visa type. However, the US Mission on Monday stated that it was prioritising immigrant visa applicants in Nigeria affected by the travel restrictions under the Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 by the Trump administration last year.

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