The United States Mission has clarified President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the travel ban on Nigerians.
The Embassy said speculations that the reversal meant all Nigerians denied a visa, since January 2020 can re-apply, were incorrect.
On January 20, 2021, Biden signed a Presidential Proclamation titled “Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States.”
The action ended the Donald Trump administration’s travel restrictions under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983.
The citizens of Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen were banned from immigrant visa categories.
In a statement, the U.S. confirmed that it’s Consulate General in Lagos has 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”, it said
“The Proclamation announcement applies only to certain immigrant visa cases, and does not apply to tourist, business, student, or other nonimmigrant visas.”
The Mission added that the Consular Sections in Abuja and Lagos are gradually restoring routine visa operations in accordance with COVID-19 safety mitigation protocols.
The statement announced that the validity of nonimmigrant visa payments (known as the MRV fee) has been extended until September 30, 2022.
This affords 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.
The Mission said 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.