The US Embassy said visa facilitators and agents operating in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos, operate with impunity for their financial gains, warning that Nigerians will continue to pay high fees if they work with visa facilitators to get appointments at the embassy.
This was revealed by Susan Tuller, National Consular Coordinator at the US Embassy in Nigeria, during a press briefing with reporters on the interview-free US visa renewal services launched in Nigeria.
She warned that Nigerians should also be aware of fake websites as all information can be found on official US government immigration websites.
What Tuller says about visa processing
Tuller revealed that the visa appointment system is manipulated by facilitators and agents, especially in Lagos.
She added that unfortunately the visa facilitators here (Lagos) operate with impunity and for financial gain, and as long as Nigerians continue to pay them very high fees to get appointments, it will be difficult for the Consulate to control the number. visa appointments they make available.
“So unfortunately, visa facilitators and agents are manipulating our systems for their own financial gain,” she said
She insisted there was no reason to pay hefty extra fees to visa facilitators or travel agents.
“As from now there are thousands of appointments available, for this new renewal program maintenance free and available right now and as long as you meet the criteria and follow the procedure there is no reason to pay anyone one to get the appointment.
“OOne of the real challenges of paying someone for the appointment is that the visa facilitators use vague information to book these appointments.
“When you buy a slot machine from them, you don’t know what information they put into the system,” she said.
Tuller revealed that they see a lot of people who have paid a host and don’t even know what was used to book their date. And then they come in and the embassy is not able to see their details because the information in the system doesn’t match the information on their passport.
She insisted that one of the criteria for participating in the program is to do the process themselves, citing that all information is available on official immigration travel websites.
What you need to know US visa without interview
- Nairametrics reported earlier this month that the US Consulate General announced that from February it would launch the Interview-Free US Visa Renewal Services to assist non-immigrant visa applicants in Nigeria who fulfill the conditions for renewing their visa.
- The new procedure which involves visa renewal without an interview will start at the US Consulate in Lagos and will later be extended to the US Embassy in Abuja.
- The processing time for the program is expected to be up to two months and applicants will not be able to collect their passports during this time.
- Each candidate must meet the criteria individually and minors can apply without an interview only if they meet the eligibility criteria themselves.