The United States (US) Government has announced the resumption of the drop box service or interview waiver in Nigeria.
This is coming 32 months after the US mission in Nigeria first announced the indefinite suspension of drop box process for visa renewals in all its consulates in Nigeria.
The Drop Box visa renewal programme allows certain visa applicants who have previously been issued U.S. visas to renew their visas without attending an interview. This means that you can get a US visa stamp without any personal interview by a US visa officer, but rather submit documents.
According to a report from The Street Journal, this was made known by the United States Embassy in Nigeria in a recent statement.
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Criteria to qualify
The embassy in its announcement said that to qualify for the interview waiver, visa applicants must be applying to renew either a B1/B2, an F, an L, or an H visa. The applicants must satisfy all of the criteria for their visa class.
The statement noted that if applying as a group or family, all members must fulfil each criterion to use the programme.
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The US Embassy in Nigeria also said that applicants who are 79 years and older automatically qualify for the interview waiver although they are still required to apply and print a copy of their interview waiver letter through the schedule platform.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the US mission in Nigeria in May 14, 2019, announced the indefinite suspension of drop box process for visa renewals in all its consulates in Nigeria, noting that visa applications would no longer be accepted by DHL in the country.
- The ban may not be unconnected to reports of Nigerians overstaying in the US when on a visit.
- The mission in its statement said, “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.’’
- 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.
- Also, the US Government in March 2021, insisted that the suspension of the non-immigrant visa interview waiver process, popularly referred to as ‘drop box’ is still in force and not yet been lifted in Nigeria, following media reports that suggested the lifting of the ban.