Don’t patronise touts, U.S. embassy advises visa applicants

American embassy, Abuja
American embassy, Abuja

The U.S. embassy in Abuja says 40, 000 visa applications have been processed this year.

The United States has listed Nigeria, Brazil and China as priority nations on its visa application following a surge in consular demands, Patty Neary, a consular officer, said on Wednesday.

Mrs. Neary told newsmen in Abuja, at the U.S. embassy weekly briefing that more than 40,000 visa applications had so far been processed in Nigeria this year.

She said that the figure represents an 11 per cent increase over the 2011 fiscal year.

Mrs. Neary said 75 per cent of the applications were for tourist visas, while 25 per cent were for student, business and official visas. She said that a majority of the applicants were granted visas.

Boycott touts

The consular officer warned applicants against patronising touts and expressed the embassy’s commitment to continue to provide consular services to Nigerians, and reduce the wait time.

“You do not need to go through anybody to help you with visa application,” she said. “By doing it personally, you will aid us to push away touts; you should make your own appointment and fill out the forms yourself.”

The American official further said that each individual was “responsible for everything” in their application.

According to her, aside the 160 dollars payment for tourist visa, no extra money is charged.

Mrs. Neary advised applicants to plan ahead while preparing for a trip, in view of the six months wait time to process a visa.

She also urged students to apply 120 days before the beginning of their studies.

“Our goal is that every qualified student visa applicant is able to begin his or her programme of study on time,” she said.

The embassy offers consular services from its Abuja and Lagos offices, while plans to establish an office in Kano is still being planned.

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