Everyday, hundreds of Nigerians apply for Visas to foreign countries for different reasons – better standard of living, employment opportunities and the most commonly used “in search of greener pastures”. However, a large number of these applicants are refused visas for different reasons.
The Vice-Consul, United States Consulate, Lagos, Mr. Christopher Richardson, has said that with regards to the United States of America, many Nigerian applicants are refused visas because they have not visited other countries.
Punch reports that he said this yesterday at a seminar on the ‘American Visa Regime: the role of lawyers’ organised by the Immigration Lawyers Forum in Lagos.
“The majority of the visa applicants prefer the US as their first outing. This creates doubt, especially when the applicant has not visited any other countries before.”
Richardson said applicants were also rejected visas because of the kind of answers they give to test questions during interviews.
“When a question, such as ‘do you have a relation in the US?’ Most often, they are quick to say ‘yes’, which of course, is in order. Such an answer creates doubt that since the person has a relation, there is every tendency that the person may not want to come back. So visas can be rejected on that ground.”
He also said that Nigerians were among the countries with highest number of visa rejections.
His responses put Nigerians in a tight position. To obtain a visa to America, one stands a better chance if he or she has visited other countries. What if one has no intention of visiting other countries and just wants to go to America for valid reasons? And the part of having relations in the US is also interesting. Nigerians, with our history of overstaying our visas have reversed what was supposed to be an added advantage in the visa application process. Now they think we probably won’t come back to our country because we have relations in America. How sad.
What are your thoughts on the Vice-Consul’s statements? Have you ever tried to obtain an American visa? Were you granted the visa or not? Please share your experiences.