Securing a US visa has not been easy for Nigerians due to previous overstays from Nigerians in diaspora and the reputation of the country. Nevertheless, some people still get a visa.
However, there are certain things you must know to ease your travel application, and to minimize the risks of rejection by a consular officer.
First of all, you enter the US after obtaining a valid visa, or without a visa through the visa waiver program. If you’re travelling to the US under the visa waiver program, you must already have authorization via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before initiating the travel process.
Although a visa does not necessarily grant you entry to the US, there are two types of visas: non-immigrant visa, and immigrant visa. A non-immigrant visa is used by students, businessmen, tourists, preachers, specialty workers and others who wish to only stay for a particular period of time and for a specific purpose. You can get this visa at the US Embassy in Abuja or the US Consulate General in Lagos.
The immigration visa, on the other hand, is for people that wish to relocate to the US or live permanently there with a view to securing legal permanent residency and acquire US citizenship. You can also have someone already in the US send you an invitation and all the necessary documents to facilitate your travel to the US. Whatever the purposes are, the following are the things you can do to secure a visa to the US.
i. Determine the kind of visa you want and familiarize yourself with the demands and qualifications for each. Choose only the visa type that applies to your situation; determine if you need the common non-immigrant visas, the immigrant visa, or the visa waiver program.
ii. Having chosen your appropriate visa type, go ahead to pay the visa fees at the embassy in US dollars or the required currency. You must keep your visa fee payment receipt number because you will need it to book for your visa appointment interview.
iv. Go ahead to schedule your visa application interview appointment. You will need the following to book your appointment: Your international passport number, your visa fee payment receipt number, the 10-digit barcode number on your DS-160 confirmation page. Don’t forget to select your visa type, enter all personal details, add dependents, select document delivery location, and confirm visa payment as you schedule your appointment.
v. It might also be necessary to have your bank statement of account with you, and be sure it is well funded over time with proofs of activity on it, that is, it is always well funded and you equally make frequent withdrawals and deposits into it. And you might also need to present the bank statement account of your sponsor.
vi. Visit the US embassy on your appointment date to attend your visa interview, and be sure to have all the required documentation with you to back up any claims you make.
iii. Complete the DS-160 form. Read the guidelines for completing this form before filling it, because all information must be accurate and very correct. You won’t have any opportunity to make any changes once the form is submitted. And you need your DS-160 number to book your interview appointment.
vii. Be tutored on interview skills. Dress moderately. Do not patronize the officer. Maintain proper eye contact. Be sure of yourself, and be fluent as you answer questions or refer to things necessary to your application.
viii. If your visa happens to be granted or approved, it will be sent to the document drop-off location you earlier selected while scheduling the appointment.