The U.S. issued about 7,000 student visas to Nigerians in 2010, the Vice-Consul of the U.S. Consulate-General in Lagos, Rachel Okunubi, said on Friday.
Ms. Okunubi said at a news conference in Lagos that there has been a “steady” increase in the number of Nigerians who have been given student visas since 2005.
“More and more Nigerians are being issued student visa to enable them study in U.S educational institutions. The number has the possibility of increasing in the near future.
“Nigeria is today the largest country in Africa with students studying in educational institutions in the U.S.,” she said.
The vice consul, however, advised Nigerians desiring student visa to meet the necessary requirements before applying.
She also urged the applicants to make sure that they had relatives in the U.S, as well as enough finance to sustain them throughout their studies.
Ms. Okunubi cautioned against falsification of certificates and other travel information to avoid disqualification.
She said that successful applicants are expected to “immediately” leave the U.S. for their home country on completion of their programmes.
The vice-consul also warned against patronising business centres and visa racketeering agents because “the consulate has no visa application agents anywhere”.
“We have always asked applicants to visit our website and apply, rather than allow some persons to rip them off.”
She advised applicants to be mindful of the schools they choose, saying that many schools in the U.S. are out to make money from unsuspecting students.