Travelling to the U.S starts with an application which leads to an appointment at any of the US Visa Offices in the country. This process is quite straight forward but a lot of Nigerians flunk the interview part because of ignorance.
In this post, we reveal some success tips that will ensure that you succeed at your US visa appointment.
So let’s get started.
Before you book an appointment for a US visa interview, you need to check your eligibility. Also, you need to have started the process at least three months before your travel date.
Generally, the two most popular visa types are the non-immigrant visas (visitor visas) which consists of 2 categories
- Tourism (B-2) and
- Business (B-1)
The B-2 Visitor Visa allows the applicant stay in the United States for up to six months at a time. However, the visa is valid for two years.
Note: Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of return.
It can take up to two months before securing an appointment at the visa office however the processing time for the application usually takes 5 to 15 working days. The appointment and processing time is dependent on the type of application and the period when you’re applying.
The visa fees cost $160 which is approximately N58,000. You can make payment at GTBank. This can be done at any branch of the bank or online. However, you will need to take your passport along with you when going to the bank.
Don’t forget to collect your receipt after making the payment as you will need to show it as proof of payment at the interview centre
Below are the visa requirements
- An original Nigerian passport with two blank pages for visa and entry stamps and is valid for at least six months beyond your return date.
- Application fee payment receipt
- Appointment confirmation page
- Barcoded DS-160 form confirmation page.
- Proof of funds (i.e. bank statements, payslips, proof of assets and investments etc)
- Supporting documents such as invitation letters, letter of employment, provisional flight bookings and travel itinerary etc
- Two colour photos that meet the U.S. visa photo requirements.
After confirming that you have all that you need, you can apply at the U.S. Department of State website.
After submitting your U.S. Visa application online, you can prepare for the interview at the embassy or consulate general either in Lagos or Abuja.
The location of the Embassy in Abuja is at Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive Central District Area, Abuja, Nigeria
Other details include:
- Website: ng.usembassy.gov
- Telephone: (234) 9 461 4000
- Email: email@example.com
- Hours: Monday to Friday 8 AM – 4 PM
On the other hand, the Lagos Embassy is located at 2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Nigeria
Other details include:
- Website: ng.usembassy.gov
- Telephone: (234) 1 460 3600
- Email: lagosNIV@state.gov
- Hours: Monday to Thursday 7 AM – 4 PM; Friday 7 AM – 1 PM
Now that you know what to do in order to apply, here are some quick tips to ensure success on your appointment day.
- Arrive on time
- Dress appropriately.
- Be calm and smile
- Be confident when you answer questions
- Be polite and demonstrate respect in your language.
- Don’t be afraid to say ask the interviewer to repeat if you do not understand a question or because of the interviewer’s accent.
Also, there are some frequently asked questions during the USA Embassy Visa interview. Some of these include:
Q1: What would you do if you won jackpot in a Las Vegas casino?
Q2: What if someone offers you a high paying salary job?
Q3: What do you do if someone offers you a partnership in his business?
Q4: What if a beautiful woman/man proposes to you for marriage?
You have to think properly before answering these questions. Also, it is better to answer honestly. If you give your interviewer a reason to doubt purpose for visiting the U.S, your visa application will be rejected.
For instance, you can’t respond to the jackpot question by stating that you’ll buy properties or saying that you’ll accept the marriage proposal. These are red flags and the consular won’t hesitate to reject your application.
Generally, any answer to an interview question that indicates that you want to prolong your stay will lead to your visa being rejected.
As long as you’re applying for a tourist visa, you’re expected to just visit and return any response that indicates that you want to stay back is a red flag for the visa officer. Your answers should revolve round vacationing as well as spending time with your family and friends
It’s also important that you have the necessary documents to support your answers where possible. For instance, you can validate your application by showing proof that you have a job in the country or you run a business that you intend to return to. If you’re married, you can show proof that you have a family in Nigeria.
Also, your bank account statement can also determine if your visa will be given or not.
More importantly, if your visa request has once been declined, it is important to note that the Embassy has a record of the information you provided, so you can’t change your story if you’re reapplying.
Generally, the consular officers are experienced in screening interviewers and they can tell your intentions just by looking at you.
You can give yourself away if you appear flustered or fidgety in the course of the interview. Be friendly, smile and exude confidence and you shouldn’t have a problem getting your visa.
After receiving your visa, examine the information provided on the approved page of your passport to ensure that there are no errors on your name, passport number, date of birth etc.
Failure to scale through the interview doesn’t mean you can’t travel to the United States, it just means you have to reapply.