U.S. consular officials have assured Nigerian visa applicants that the visa application process is open and transparent. As a result, the majority of Nigerian visa applicants are approved.

Country Consular Coordinator, William Laidlaw and Abuja Consular Chief, Stacie Hankins offered insights into the U.S. visa process to journalists from Channels Television, News Agency of Nigeria, Radio Nigeria, and Punch newspaper, who received a tour of U.S. Embassy Abuja’s consular operations. The tour gave the journalists an opportunity to observe the visa process and speak with applicants about their experiences after their visa interviews.

In a question and answer session with the journalists after the tour, Laidlaw and Hankins emphasised that each time a visa applicant comes for an interview s/he receives a “fresh and unbiased review.” They reminded all applicants that accuracy is extremely important in the process.

“We encourage all applicants to re-view their applications to make sure that all of their information is correct and that the barcode number for their appointment matches the barcode number on their application,” the officers advised.

There are currently more than 7,000 Nigerian students studying in the U.S. Tourist visa appointment wait time as of May 18, 2015 is three days for Abuja and eight days for Lagos. Student visa appointment wait time as of May 18, 2015 is 1 day in both Abuja and Lagos.

Since October 1, 2014, the U.S. Embassy and Consulate General in Nigeria have received more than 138,000 visa applications for non-immigrant travel to the United States. At the conclusion of fiscal year 2014 (ending on September 30, 2014), 66% of tourist visa applications were approved.
U.S. Ambassador Congratulates 2015 Mandela Washington Fellows. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General has recognised 40 young Nigerians selected to participate in the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and a key component of President Barack Obama’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa.

The White House developed this initiative in recognition of the critical and increasing role that young Africans are playing in strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa.

Speaking at a special gathering in Abuja and via satellite in Lagos, U.S. Ambassador James F. Entwistle congratulated the new fellows on their competitive selection amongst 7,000 Nigerian applicants and tens of thousands of others throughout Africa.

“You all should be proud of your accomplishment. Your selection says a lot about who you are as young leaders and the level of impact you are having on your communities as entrepreneurs, civic leaders, and public servants,” said Ambassador Entwistle. He added: “You will have the opportunity to meet hundreds of bright and inspiring minds, just like yourselves, from other parts of Africa.

Take advantage of the opportunity to learn, to share, and to expand your network.” In 2014, 44 Nigerian fellows comprised part of the inaugural class of Mandela Washington Fellows. Fellows participate in an intensive, six week programme on academic excellence and leadership focused on business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management at U.S. colleges and universities.