The United States Mission has said that it was prioritising immigrant visa applicants in Nigeria affected by the travel restrictions under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 signed by former President Donald Trump last year.
The Mission, which stated this in a statement on its website on Tuesday, also spoke on a news report that Nigerians denied visa earlier can reapply for free, adding that those caught in the closure of its Consular Section by COVID-19 have had their visa fee receipt validity extended.
It said the move to contact Nigerians denied immigrant visa by Trump’s policy followed the Presidential Proclamation signed by President Joe Biden on January 20, 2021, titled: “Ending discriminatory bans on entry to the United States.”
It said its Consulate-General in Lagos has already contacted all immigrant visa applicants whose applications were affected and is prioritising the processing of these pending cases.
It said: “On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed a Presidential Proclamation titled ‘Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States.’ This ended the travel restrictions under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 that had suspended entry into the United States of certain nationals, based on visa type, from various countries to include Nigeria. In Nigeria, this proclamation banned entry for certain immigrant visa categories. The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos has already contacted all immigrant visa applicants whose applications were affected and is prioritizing the processing of these pending cases.
“Recent media reports claiming ‘Nigerians denied visas on or after January 20, 2020, can re-apply for free’ are inaccurate. The Proclamation announcement applies only to certain immigrant visa cases, and does not apply to tourist, business, student, or other nonimmigrant visas.
“Our Consular Sections in Abuja and Lagos are gradually restoring routine visa operations in accordance with COVID-19 safety mitigation protocols. The validity of nonimmigrant visa payments (known as the MRV fee) has been extended until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee. Nonimmigrant visa applicants who were previously refused and would like to apply again will need to submit a new visa application (DS-160) and pay a new visa application processing fee.”