■ Service restricted to Lagos
■ Visa fees valid to 2023
US Embassy in Nigeria resumes drop-box visa processing services for Nigerian visa applicants after 20 months suspension.
Drop box service allows applicants with expired US visas to renew them without undergoing in-person interviews afresh.
The new service is however restricted to the US Consulate in Lagos, officials said in a statement.
Before the suspension, applicants processed drop-box services at the Embassy headquarters in Abuja as well as Lagos.
The Embassy however indicated in the statement that the service will also be restored in Abuja.
“Applicants who meet the criteria may apply in Lagos until the service is extended to Abuja.”
The Embassy advised that only one adult will be allowed to drop off the application documents.
“Children are not required to come drop-off in person.”
Because of backlogs that have accumulated, the Embassy said visas may take up to two months to process.
Applicants were therefore asked to factor the possibility of a long wait period before submitting their documents.
“Once you submit your travel documents, we will be unable to return these to you until your case has been completed.”
Visa fees validy period extended
The US Mission also gave cheery news to those who paid visa fees before it shut its doors in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
All US visa fees paid within this period remain valid until 30 September 2023.
The consideration comes as a relief to “thousands of applicants” the Embassy said are on a long queue.
Many applicants have expressed worries that they were given extended interview dates that could invalidate the fees.
Visa processing fees were hitherto valid for 12 months.
The backlog of applications arose because the embassy scaled down visa processing services at the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
‘Why we suspended service’
The Embassy explained on 14 May 2019 that the suspension enables it review how to “quickly, efficiently, and securely process visa applications.”
The measure will also help it “provide more efficient customer service and promote legitimate travel,” according to a statement.
US Embassy resumes drop-box visa services