Applying for American Student Visa for Nigerians
A nonimmigrant visa is used by tourists, business people, students, or specialty workers who wish to stay for a particular period of time in the United States to accomplish specific purposes. According to U.S. visa laws and regulations, most nonimmigrant visa applicants must demonstrate to the consular officer that they have strong ties to their country of residence and must show that they intend to depart the United States after their temporary stay. In Nigeria, you can apply for a nonimmigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja and the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos.
Note: Be sure to also review the Visa Waiver Program. If your country participates in the Visa Waiver Program, you do not need to apply for a visa if you are traveling for business or pleasure and will only be staying in the United States for 90 days or less.
Step 1: Pay The Fees
Visa applicants, including children, are required to pay a non-refundable, non-transferable visa application fee, sometimes referred to as the MRV fee, before applying for a nonimmigrant visa. The visa application fee must be paid whether a visa is issued or not. The type of visa for which you apply determines the fee amount.
Although fees are listed in U.S. dollars, payment must be made using local currency. You can pay your fee at any GTBank branch or, if you are an account holder at GTBank, you can pay online
Your visa application fee is non-refundable and you cannot transfer it to another person. You will receive a receipt after paying the application fee. This receipt is valid for one year from the date of payment and allows you to schedule your interview at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate General. You must schedule your interview while the receipt is valid, which means your interview must be booked within one year of paying your fee. If you do not schedule an interview within a year of payment then your receipt will expire, you will not be able to schedule an interview, and you must pay the fee again and begin the process anew.
Visa Application Fee Amounts
The application fees are shown below and apply to one visa application. The application fee for the most common nonimmigrant visa types is $160. This includes tourist, business, student and exchange visas.
Check the below link to know how much should you pay in your own currency (NGN), You are Applying for F Visa.
Once you have determined the correct visa type, you must pay the visa fee. The visa fee page lists the visa types and correlating visa fee in US dollars and native currency.
To pay your visa fee, read the Bank and Payment Options page. This page explains how to make your visa fee payment. You must keep your receipt number to book your visa appointment.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an Internet-based system that tracks F, M and J visa participants (and their family members) from the time they receive their initial documentation (either an I-20 or a DS-2019) until they graduate/leave school or conclude/leave program.
F, M and J visa principal applicants: Check with your U.S. school to make sure your information has been entered into SEVIS. You will need to pay a separate SEVIS fee in addition to the visa application fee. For nonimmigrant students with Form I-20, the SEVIS fee is US$200. For most exchange visitors with Form DS-2019, the SEVIS fee is US$180. Proof of payment is required before your student or exchange visitor visa will be issued. Please bring your I-901 SEVIS fee receipt to your interview at the Embassy. Payment cannot be made at the Embassy or Consulate.
Step 2: Prepare Your Photos
Digital Photo Requirements
Your visa application photo must meet certain criteria regarding size and content. Submitting photos that do not meet these criteria can delay the visa application process.
Your head height, measured from the top of your head, including the hair, to the bottom of your chin, must be between 50% and 70% of the photo’s total height. Your eye height, measured from the bottom of the photo to the level of your eyes, should be between 55% and 70% – or roughly 2/3 – of the photo’s height.
Your photo must be square-shaped, meaning the photo’s height must be the same as its width. The minimum dimensions for your photo are 600 pixels x 600 pixels (height x width). The maximum dimensions are 1200 pixels x 1200 pixels (height x width).
Step 3: Fill DS-160 Form
The next step is to complete the DS-160 form. Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Formcarefully. All information must be correct and accurate. Once the form is submitted, you cannot make any changes. If you need assistance, please consult an immigration lawyer or translator. The call center cannot help you complete your DS-160. You will need your DS-160 number to book your appointment.
Each applicant – including children – must have their own Form DS-160 visa application. The Form DS-160 must be completed and submitted online prior to your interview at the Embassy or Consulate. The barcode number on the Form DS-160 confirmation page is required in order to book your interview. The Form DS-160 must be submitted online and the printed confirmation page must be brought to the interview. The Embassy or Consulate will not accept handwritten or typed applications and you will not be permitted to attend your interview without a Form DS-160 confirmation page.
When you sign your DS-160 electronically, you are certifying that all the information contained in it is true and correct. Misrepresenting any facts could render you ineligible to enter the United States. Please double-check that all your answers are accurate and that every question is answered completely.
Note: Any inquiries on completing the DS-160 will be addressed on the following website: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/forms/ds-160–online-nonimmigrant-visa-application/frequently-asked-questions.html
Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form
Complete and submit your DS-160 after reviewing the nonimmigrant visa application process. You must submit your DS-160 application online prior to making an appointment for an interview at the Embassy or Consulate.
- The interview post you select at the beginning of the Form DS-160 must be the same post where you schedule your interview appointment.
- All questions must be answered in English using English-language characters only, except when you are asked to provide your full name in your native alphabet.
- If you stop working on this application for more than 20 minutes, your session will expire. You will have to start over, unless you have recorded your Application ID Number or have saved your application to a file on your computer. Write down the Application ID displayed on the top right-hand corner of the page. If you need to close the browser before submitting your application, you will need this Application ID to continue your application.
- The completed DS-160 application form will generate an alpha-numeric barcode confirmation page. The printed confirmation page is required for the interview at the Embassy/Consulate.
- Once you have printed the barcode confirmation page, hit the “Back” button on your web browser and then email yourself a backup copy of the DS-160. The emailed file will be in PDF format, which requires Adobe Acrobat to view or print.
PLEASE NOTE: You are to fill out your DS-160 form correctly before scheduling an appointment. You will only be allowed to attend your interview with the passport bearing the number entered in your DS-160 confirmation form, if your name exactly matches the name in your passport, and with a DS160 confirmation printout that matches the DS160 application (CEAC) receipt number you used when scheduling the appointment.
Any inquiries on completing the DS-160 will be addressed on the following website:http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/forms/ds-160–online-nonimmigrant-visa-application/frequently-asked-questions.html. We are unable to answer any questions or provide guidance on this process.
The Form DS-160 is online here.
Step 4: Schedule Your Appointment
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Citizens of qualified countries may be also able to visit the U.S. without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. If you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program or are traveling to study, work, or participate in an exchange program, you must apply for a nonimmigrant visa.
Applicants for U.S. visas are required to appear in person for a visa interview at the Embassy in Abuja or the Consulate General in Lagos. You must schedule an appointment for that interview, either online or through the call center.
Schedule Online: https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/?country=Nigeria
To schedule a nonimmigrant visa appointment, you must have the following information and documents available:
- A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person desiring a visa must submit an application.
- Your visa application fee payment receipt from GTBank
- Your DS-160 confirmation page
- Valid e-mail address and telephone number
- If applicable, required documents based on visa class (such as a copy of your petition approval for petition-based visas, I-20 for student visas, DS-2019 for exchange visitor visas, etc.; more information about visa types and information about each can be found here).
Visa applicants are fingerprinted by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate General as part of the visa interview. During the visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. There are some applicants whose fingerprints are not required, including:
- Applicants applying for a diplomatic or international organization visa
- Applicants under the age of 14 or over the age of 79
Interview tips and how to prepare for an interview
A few tips on how to act and behave before and during the interview process will be listed below. Your conduct during the interview somewhat has an effect on your visa status.
- The first thing to ensure is that you arrive at least 30 minutes early, just in case there are other things you need to sort out before the interview commences.
- Be composed and properly organised with all your documents in place, it is better to have too many valid documents than not having enough documents along.
- Remember not to present false documents or lie about any information asked, always be truthful
- Dress decently and corporate with a clean and neat outfit.
- No faz caps or hats or anything that will cover your face of your eyes.
- Be calm, relaxed and confident and take any pressure off and smile!
Here are some questions you could be asked during your interview
- Who you are & where you want to go to school
- Evidence of acceptance / admission letter from the school you applied to
- The receipt or proof of payment for your school fees
- The different schools you applied to
- Why you selected the schools
- What you plan to study in the school
- What you want to do after having the degree (career path)
- How long your program is for
- How you intend to pay for the education
- How your welfare will be taken care of
- Where you will be living during your duration in the country
- If you have any family or relatives in the country (it is better to state it because you will also have to fill it in the form)
Gather Required Documentation
- A barcoded confirmation page for the DS-160 online nonimmigrant visa application form (for all applicants). The confirmation page can be obtained only after applicants complete and submit the DS-160 over the Internet. Applicants should answer all questions completely and digitally sign the DS-160 before submission. The DS-160 and instructions for completing it can be found on the Consular Electronic Application Center at https://ceac.state.gov/GENNIV
- Endorsed, valid I-20 (for students)
- DS-2019 (for exchange visitors)
- International passport valid for at least six months
- One color passport (5cm x 5cm) photograph with full face forward against a white background taken within the last six months. Hair must not cover the ears. No photos with dark glasses or non-religious, tribal, or chieftaincy head coverings will be permitted.
- The GT Bank receipt (for the $160 visa application fee).
- CGI appointment service charge receipt
- SEVIS fee receipt (http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm )
- Any supporting documents the applicant feels are needed to establish his or her strong economic, social or other ties to Nigeria. However, please note that for student visas, officers are trained to primarily rely on interviews in lieu of documentation. As such, it is not unusual for few or no documents to be requested during the interview.
- You also should be prepared to provide financial evidence demonstrating your ability or your sponsor’s ability to pay for tuition and living expenses.
- If your tuition has already been paid, please provide proof of payment.
Why should you pay your tuition fees before you apply for your Canadian student visa?
You will need the SEVIS number on your I-20 or DS-2019 form to complete your DS-160 online nonimmigrant visa application form. Please wait until you receive your I-20 or DS-2019 before attempting to submit a DS-160 form over the Internet.
All student applicants are required to pay a SEVIS fee before the visa interview can be conducted (the fee can be paid at: www.fmjfee.com).
Once the payment is made, it takes approximately one week for the payment to be processed and appear as paid in the visa system. Applicants who appear for an interview prior to the completed processing of their SEVIS payment will not be interviewed and will be asked to return once the payment has been processed.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to pay the SEVIS fee at least one week prior to their scheduled interview to ensure that the payment is processed in time. The status of the SEVIS payment can be checked online at:https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/dhs/loadSearchPage.do
Applicants are strongly encouraged to retain possession of their original I-20. Please bring both your original I-20 and a photocopy of your I-20 to the visa interview. You must only leave a copy of your I-20 with your visa application.
Applicants must appear at the consular gate on the date and time of their appointment. Before the date of the appointment, applicants who wish to reschedule may do so up to two times for free.
Where should you go?
U.S. Embassy, Abuja
Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Abuja
Email: [email protected]
Website: U. S. Embassy, Abuja
U.S. Consulate General, Lagos
2 Walter Carrington Crescent
Email: see list of topics below: