US extends visa validity for Nigerians to five years

The United States of America has announced that beginning March 1, visitor visa validity will be increased from 24 months to 60 months for Nigerians who wish to enter the country temporarily for business and/or tourism.

The US Consulate General explained in a statement on Monday that the extension of visa validity for Nigerians would reduce the visa approval wait time for Nigerians and allow them to make "short visits" to the US without worrying about their visas expiring.

The US decision follows the Federal Government's directive to fully implement a new visa reciprocity policy for US citizens visiting Nigeria.

According to Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, the directive was issued following approval for the implementation of the new Bilateral Consular Policy Agreements between Nigeria and the United States.

According to Aregbesola, among the agreements is the reciprocity of five-year tourist visa validity for American citizens under Section 30 of the Immigration Act of 2015.

The US Consulate's statement on Monday also assured that the visa fee would remain the same.

"Effective March 1, 2023, the US Mission will increase visitor visa validity for Nigerians who want to enter the United States temporarily for business and/or tourism from 24 months to 60 months," it said.

"The visa validity extension allows Nigerians to use the visa for 60 months to make short trips to the United States for tourism or business purposes before having to renew their visa. The current visa application fee of $160 will not be increased as a result of the increased visa validity.

"Increasing visa validity is one of several initiatives undertaken by the US to reduce visa appointment wait times in Nigeria. To those who meet the eligibility requirements, the US Mission continues to offer No-Interview Visa Renewals. No-Interview Visa Renewal Appointments are readily available."

While outlining the requirements, the US stated that applicants must be physically present in Nigeria and have a previous visa issued in Nigeria, among other things.

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