Lots of Nigerian people dream of going to the United States, getting acquainted with the culture of this enormous country, and having a memorable trip. However, you will have to apply for US visa in Nigeria and successfully receive it before going on your American adventure. Learn the necessary information about the USA visa application in Nigeria.
US visa application: all you need to know
Many Nigerians would give everything to receive the cherished American visa in their passport. However, first of all, you should learn the requirements for your wished type of visa. There are the following basic types of US visa:
- Non-immigrant visa – received by people who want to stay in the United States for a certain set period, but they are not planning on staying there long-term. This type of visa is used by business people, workers, students, or just tourists who want to see the United States. Those people who want to receive the non-immigrant visa have to prove that they are strongly tied to their native country and that they do not intend to stay in the United States after their visa expires. People can apply for a non-immigrant visa in Lagos and Abuja.
- Immigrant visa – this type of visa applies to those who want to live in the United States permanently. It is more difficult to acquire this one than the non-immigrant visa. Usually, the process starts when the person gets a relative, who is a citizen of the United States, send the petition and help out with the documents. The employer who wants to hire the worker also can send a petition. In Nigeria, you can apply for this kind of visa only in Lagos.
Getting the visa does not guarantee the successful entry to the US. If you have received the visa, this means that the consular officer found you eligible for applying to the United States entry.
US visa application form
In this article, we will be talking about applying for the non-immigrant visa. There are a few steps that you should take in order to apply successfully for this type of United States visa.
First of all, you will have to determine the type of visa that you need, because there are a few different types of common non-immigrant visas:
- Business/tourist visa – this visa type is for those people who want to organize their trip to the United States for business (in this case, they will need the B1 category) or for tourist purposes or medical treatment (B2 category). Business visa is usually for workers who want to consult the business associates, attend the educational, business, scientific or professional conferences, buy the estate, or negotiate some kind of business contract. Those who want to apply for a tourist visa are usually planning to go to the United States for recreational purposes, like sightseeing, visiting their friends or family, various social activities, or professional medical treatment.
- Work visa – people who are going to the United States in order to perform some official work temporarily will need this kind of visa. There are few kinds of work visa (H, L, O, P, Q, R), which depend on the type of job that you will be performing in the United States. Most of the work visa categories have to be supported by the petition from your employer, who is based in the States.
- Student visa – people who would like to receive their education in the United States will need a student visa. Before applying for this kind of visa, a student must be approved by his/her chosen school and accepted for it. Then, the student will be provided with the list of documents to submit for the student visa. There are two variants of student visa – F-1 is most common, as it helps people to get involved in academic studies in the United States. As for M-1 visa, it will give you the right to participate in the non-academic studies.
- Exchange visitor visa – a person who was approved for participation in a certain exchange program will need to get an exchange visitor visa or a visa of J-type. This kind of visa was made for helping people to participate in cultural and educational exchanges. Keep in mind that before applying for a visa, you will need the official approval from the sponsor of the exchange program that you are planning to participate in. Once you are accepted for the program, you will be given further instructions from the representatives.
- Transit/Ship crew visa – the transit visa (C-type) was designed for those people who are citizens of the foreign country, and they have to travel through the United States territory to the other country they are visiting. This visa is not suitable for those people who want to stay in the United States for a certain period. On the other hand, ship visa (D-type) is for those who serve on board of the sea ship or in the aircraft. Those crew members who transit through the territory of the United States usually use the combined visa C-1/D.
- Domestic employee visa – this visa is for people who are personal or domestic employees. They are commonly accompanying their employer to the United States. The domestic employee list includes such professions as butlers, nannies, cooks, housemaids, gardeners, and other workers who have an official paid job at someone’s house. The documents that you will need to provide depend on the job specifics and the visa type of your employer.
- Journalist/media visa – this one is given to the representatives of foreign media outlets, who temporarily go to the United States in order to perform professional activities. However, their office is still located in their country of residence. Media visa is the visa of I-type, and it has a lot of different requirements.
- Other types of visa – there are a lot of them for multiple various situations, and you will have to look them up on the official website of US visa application in Nigeria or ask about all of them in the embassy if your case is specific.
After you have determined your type of visa, you will need to pay the visa fee. You can read about the particular visa fee for every type below.
Afterward, you will need to fill in the special form, which is called DS-160 form. While filling it in, you should be very careful because the information needs to be accurate and correct. Besides, after the submission, you will be unable to make changes to it anymore. Usually, people invite a professional translator or lawyer if they are having issues with completing the DS-160 application form. For booking the appointment, you will have to use the number of your DS-160, which you will find on the confirmation page of your application.
The DS-160 application form should be completed by every applicant, including young children. The form needs to be submitted before the interview at the consulate or embassy. Without the DS-160 application, you will not be allowed to attend the interview. Also, you should remember that every applicant must submit the form online – the forms which are printed out and handwritten will be rejected. All the information in the form should be true; otherwise, you might get permanent ineligibility for the visa. Check your information on the form carefully and make sure that all the answers to the questions are correct and complete.
To complete the form successfully, you should remember a few basic guidelines which will help you out.
- The post that you choose at the start of filling the DS-160 should be the same where you are going to schedule the visa interview appointment.
- The language for answering the questions is English, and you should only use the English characters in your answers. The exception is when you have to give your full name how it is written in the native language and alphabet.
- You should be aware that if you stop filling the application for twenty minutes or more, the session expires and you will have to do it all over again, except the cases when you have written down the application ID number or saved the application on your computer as a file. You should write down the ID number of the application, which you can see in the top right corner of the webpage. So, if you will have to close your browser before the application is completed, and are planning to go back to working on it later, you will easily get access to the application with the help of ID number.
- After you complete the DS-160 form, the confirmation page will follow. This page should be printed out and brought to your interview.
- When you have saved the confirmation page, you should go back to the DS-160 form and save the backup copy of it in PDF format, in order to have access to it whenever you need.
- You will only be accepted for the interview if the name in DS-160 form matches your passport name, and you have the confirmation printout with a receipt number. Make sure all of these things are sorted out.
- The DS-160 form can be downloaded on the official website of US visa applications from Nigeria.
When you have completed the procedure of filling the DS-160 form and have submitted it online, you are ready to schedule the visa appointment. For that, you will have to make a profile on the official website. Fill in all the fields. When you are registered, you should see the dashboard. Choose the option “Schedule appointment” on the left. This action will begin the process of scheduling the visa appointment.
Every applicant who schedules the visa appointment for American visa will need the following information for scheduling:
- The passport number of the applicant.
- The receipt number, which you received at GT-Bank.
- The 10-digit barcode number from DS-160 confirmation page.
When you are on the scheduling page, you will have to choose the type of your visa, enter your personal information, add the dependents, choose the delivery location of your documents, confirm the payment for a visa, and schedule the appointment for a certain date and time. On the set date and time of your US visa appointment, you should arrive at the embassy with the document package.
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Requirements for US visa
Every visa type requires its own pack of documents. For determining the bundle of documents that you will need, you have to look them up in the information section of your visa type. However, we will give you some general recommendations about your documents:
- First of all, every document which will confirm that you are not planning on staying in the United States illegally should be taken to the appointment.
- You should only submit the original documentation. It is not recommended to bring the photocopies.
- Trying to submit false documents can result in you being banned from acquiring the visa forever, so you should not risk it.
- You are not required to send the documents by fax or mail unless the consulate needs you to.
- Your documents will stay confidential when they are passed to the embassy workers.
- The decision to give you a United States visa will be taken based on the interview and information that you provided in the documents.
US visa fee
All the applicants are required to pay the certain application fee. In case of visa rejection, the fee will not be returned. The fees for American visa vary, depending on the type of visa that you are trying to acquire.
- Business/Tourist (B), Transit (C-1), Ship (D), Student (academic (F) and vocational(M)), Journalist/Media (I), Exchange (J), Human trafficking victim (T), Criminal activity victim (U), NAFTA Professional (TN/TD) – 160$
- Temporary worker/Trainee (H), Intracompany Transferee (L), People with Extraordinary Abilities (O), Athletes/artists/entertainers (P), International Cultural exchange (Q), Religious workers (R) – 190$
- Fiance or Spouse of US Citizen (K) – 265$
- Treaty Investor/Trader or Australian Professional specialty (E) – 205$
Some visa types require no fees. Mostly those are:
- Applicants for other visa types – A, G, C-2, C-3, diplomatic visa, and NATO visa.
- Those whose visa is replaced during to printing issues.
- Those who have J visa and participate in the United States government-sponsored activities and exchanges.
- Those who were exempted due to the international agreement.
- Those who travel to provide charitable service.
- Employees of United States government who travel for official business.
- The close relatives (parents, spouses, and children) of the US employees who were killed on duty, who are traveling to attend the funeral.
- The close relatives (parents, spouses, and children) of the US employees who were injured on duty, who are traveling to visit the employee in emergency treatment.
Sometimes there are also other fees. You should clarify with your embassy if you will not be required to pay those.
This was the necessary information for those who want to apply for the US visa. Hopefully, your appointment goes well, and very soon you will safely arrive in America!
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