The US embassy has stated that visa facilitators and agents operating in Nigeria, especially in Lagos are operating with impunity for their financial gains, warning that Nigerians will continue to pay high fees if they work with visa facilitators to get appointments at the embassy.
This was disclosed by Susan Tuller, Country Consular Coordinator of the US Embassy in Nigeria in a press briefing with newsmen on the No-interview U.S visa renewal services launched in Nigeria.
She warned that Nigerians should also be aware of fake websites, as all information can be found in official US government immigration websites.
What Tuller is saying about visa processing
Tuller disclosed that the visa appointments system is manipulated by facilitators and agents, especially in Lagos.
She added that unfortunately the visa facilitators here (Lagos) operate with impunity, and for financial gain, and as along as Nigerians continue to pay the very high fees to them to get appointments, that will make it hard for the Consulate to control the number of visa appointments that they make available.
“So unfortunately, visa facilitators and agents, manipulate our systems for their own financial gain,” she said
She urged that there is no reason to pay any high additional fees to any visa facilitators or travel agents.
“As of right now there are thousands of appointments available, for this new no interview renewal programme and available right now and as long you meet the criteria and follow the procedure, there is no reason to pay someone to get the appointment.
“One of the real challenges with paying someone for the appointment is that the visa facilitators use vague information to book these appointments.
“When you buy a slot from them you don’t know the information they have put in the system,” she said.
Tuller disclosed that they see a lot of people who paid a facilitator and who don’t even know what was used to book their appointment. And then they come in and the embassy is not able to see their details because the information in the system does not match the information on their passport.
She urged that one criterion to participate in the programme is to do the process themselves, citing that all information is available on official immigration travel websites.
What you should know no-interview U.S visa
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that the U.S. Consulate-General announced that from February, it will start the No-interview U.S visa renewal services to aid non-immigrant visa applicants in Nigeria who qualify to renew their visas.
The new procedure which entails no-interview visa renewal will commence at the U.S. Consulate in Lagos and will be extended to the U.S embassy in Abuja thereafter.
The processing time for the program is expected to be up to two months and applicants will not be able to retrieve their passports during that time.
Each applicant must individually meet the criteria and minors can apply without an interview only if they meet the eligibility criteria on their own.
Download Nairametrics App for breaking news and market intelligence.