US cancels dropbox visa interview waiver in Nigeria — Quartz Africa

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Nigeria accounted for over 25% of non-immigrant visas issued to Africans in 2018 alone—however that could be set to alter.

America embassy has introduced an instantaneous indefinite suspension of interview waivers for visa renewals for candidates in Nigeria. Referred to as “drop-box,” the interview waiver course of allowed Nigerian candidates who met sure eligibility standards to resume their visas by submitting their passports and supporting paperwork for evaluate with out going by way of a brand new in-person interview every time.

The method primarily focused common guests to the US who’ve a historical past of making use of for and receiving visas. One of many necessities for the interview waiver was for an applicant to have beforehand acquired a two-year visa.

With the brand new waiver suspension, all candidates—first time and recurring—will now be required to seem for in-person interviews at US embassies in Nigeria.

A probable consequence might be a drop-off within the variety of non-immigrant visas issued to Nigerians. In comparison with the drop-box course of which resulted in a excessive charge of visa renewals for normal guests, in-person interviews will possible lead to elevated scrutiny, a for much longer course of and, by extension, fewer visas issued.

There have already been native reviews of visa drop-box submissions taking for much longer to course of over the previous 12 months, hinting at rising scrutiny. More and more, drop-box functions have additionally been returned unapproved with requests for in-person interviews.

The potential of a harder outlook for candidates is famous within the US embassy’s assertion because it says one of many causes it has suspended the interview waiver is to “promote professional journey.” It’s rhetoric that’s in step with the Trump administration’s stance on immigration.

The suspension additionally comes one month after information that Trump administration has been contemplating new immigration measures to impose visa restrictions on international locations whose residents have a observe document of overstaying past the validity of their short-term US visas. Nigeria accounted for the third highest variety of US visa overstays final 12 months.

The proposed measures included decreasing visa validity intervals, making it harder for residents from international locations like Nigeria to obtain visas in any respect and the long-term chance of outright bans.

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