I came across a post by someone in a forum, who was probably denied an American visa. He asked if there is an instruction from the American government to deny Nigerians visa. Someone that was going to America for his master’s degree programme also told us that the US embassy in Nigeria denied his visa.
The issue of Visa refusal has been a big problem not only for Nigerians alone even other countries experience the same thing especially when they are trying to visit countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom, and other developed countries.
According to 2016 statistic on visa refusal from United State Department of State, the rate for United States visas by country, Cuba has the highest rate with 81.9 %, followed by Afghanistan with 73.8%, Mauritanian 71.5% and so on. On the same rating, Nigeria has 32.56% refusal rate, that is to say, 67.44% of Nigerians that apply for US visa get approval.
This boils down to what should I do in order to get my visa approved. Is it money? From our findings, money plays a role because they have to be sure you won’t be a liability to them. But you could have all the money in the world and get denied. I know someone that has lots of money to throw around but could not get the visa.
Below are her first-hand tips on how to improve your chances of getting a high-stake visa.
Have Legitimate Reasons
Make sure you have a legitimate reason to travel. Sounds like a no-brainer but some people stroll into the embassy with fraudulent travel reasons. Make sure you have a school admission, legit tourism plan, family event/visit, conference, etc.
Wanting to go visit The Eye or the Statue of Liberty is a specific reason. You don’t have to have a fancy reason, but you must have a legitimate and specific reason. Don’t go there saying…”I just want to go to America” or “I just want to go to England.”
Have a Travel Plan
Make sure you KNOW your travel plans. If you are going for tourism, know your sites. If you are going to school, know your school & major. If you are going to a conference, know what it is about. If you cannot tell the officer about your plans, it will come off as fake.
Provide Original Documents
Have your AUTHENTIC DOCUMENTS and have them all. All your documents can be easily verified by an immigration officer. If s/he wants to, they can call your bank, school, etc. Don’t give them a reason to do so. Make sure your passport info matches your form info.
Never forge documents. Don’t be a special breed and forge documents that the US embassy can verify with a click of the button… SAT scores, I-20 docs, previous travel, etc. Don’t forge documents and make sure your agent is not forging documents for you. Speaking of agents…
Filling Online Form
You do not need an agent to fill out a US visa application. If you want to use a legitimate agent, that’s fine. Know that everything you’re asked is info you have.
Here are the steps:
- Fill out the form online
- Schedule Interview
- Prepare documents
- Attend Interview
Make sure your form and documents do not have mistakes. Sometimes, a small mistake could look like intent to deceive. Cross-check your information thoroughly. Write your family name in the right place and your age correctly. Again, don’t forge anything. Old names, detail them.
Did you know that you can find all your US travel history on the US i94 website? So if you’re struggling to remember the dates of your previous travel, visit this site and fill out that section of your form correctly.
Truth is many people do not get asked for a slew of documents because their immediate application looks legit enough. So have your documents ready but be confident when answering questions. Know your name and don’t let anyone feed you a rehearsed story.
Establish Ties To Nigeria
Make sure you establish ties to Nigeria. A job, a company, family that relies on you, etc. The most likely non-fraud reasons for denial are weak ties to home country, no proof that you can fund your trip and incorrect information. Make it clear that you will come back! Make sure you have enough money in your account that can cover the number of days you are going to stay.
Don’t overstay your visa! Fam, if you would like to return for another visa, make sure you return within the stipulated time granted by your visa. You will most likely (most likely) be given a 2-year visa but you cannot stay for more than months at a stretch. Don’t do it.
Don’t Violate Terms
Don’t do ANYTHING that will violate the terms of your visa. Students don’t work outside campus and for more than the number of hours your visa allows. Visitors don’t work. Period. Don’t get arrested. You’ll need to renew your visa so don’t spoil your chances.
The US has one of the most straightforward visa application processes among ‘high-stakes’ countries. You deal with the embassy directly, you are told at the point of your interview whether your visa has been approved or denied, and it only takes a few days to deliver it to you. Make sure you have enough money in your account that can cover the number of days you are going to stay.
Enjoy the States. It is perhaps one of the most culturally and geographically diverse places in the world. There’s a new story in every state!