The United States Mission in Nigeria says it will prioritise visa applications by Nigerian students who hope to resume academic studies in the country by September 2021.
This was contained in a statement signed by Temitayo Famutimi of the Public Affairs Section of the US Consulate General, on Friday.
According to the statement the Mission said it would prioritise visa interview appointments for Nigerian students well in advance of their programme start date.
US Mission Country Consular Coordinator, Susan Tuller, reportedly said the Mission would make every effort to assist student visa applicants in a timely fashion while keeping personnel and customers safe.
“As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our staff and customers, processing student visas remains a high priority for the US Mission in Nigeria.
“We will increase the number of student visa appointments in May and June to ensure that we can offer appointments to as many students as possible. If your US studies are scheduled to begin this Fall, we encourage you to schedule your appointment as quickly as possible,” Tuller was quoted as saying in the statement.
Tuller explained that all student visa appointments must be booked through the US Travel Docs website. She warned applicants against the use of third-party services, including touts, and fixers who broker visa appointments.
According to her, agents or third parties often seek to benefit by charging a fee for their services and they may not always provide the correct information, which can harm an applicant’s chances of qualifying for the visa.
“Both Nigeria and the United States benefit when Nigerian students study at one of our world-class educational institutions. To prepare for your U.S. educational opportunity, we encourage you to check out EducationUSA Advising Centers at our American Spaces in Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, and Calabar,” she added.
Nigeria sends more students to American colleges and universities than any other country in Africa and is the eleventh largest source worldwide of international students to the United States.
In academic year 2019-2020, a record-breaking number of nearly 14,000 Nigerians pursued graduate and undergraduate degrees in the United States.