The Federal Government has reportedly secured a relaxed and more humane U.S visa application process for Nigerians, promising to reciprocate the same for Americans who wish to visit the country.
In the newly secured visa application process, Nigerians may no longer need to tender extraneous documents, compared to what used to obtain, the Punch reports. This is a developing story. Please check back for further updates.
Earlier in March, the United States Embassy in Abuja had said there was no reason for Nigerians with valid visas to postpone or cancel their travel to the United States. In a statement, the embassy explained:
“Nigeria is not named in the Executive Order on Immigration issued on March 6. And there is no prohibition against Nigerian lawful permanent residents or persons with a valid visa or other US government authorisation from entering the US.”
The statement from the embassy was sequel to the federal government’s advice to Nigerians who had plans of travelling to the U.S, urging them to reconsider their travel plans.
According to the Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Nigerians who had no compelling or urgent reason to travel to the US should postpone their travel plans until the new administration’s policy on immigration became clearer.
This Dabiri-Erewa said was because her office had recently received a few cases of Nigerians with valid multiple-entry U.S. visas being denied entry and sent back home.
But Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, Foreign Affairs Minister corroborated the embassy’s claim, saying no Nigerian with full valid entry visa had been denied entry to the US, adding that Nigerians were free to travel to US as the country was not on the ban list.
The minister said he was constantly in touch with the Nigerian Ambassador to the US and the US Ambassador to Nigeria, adding that there is no report on Nigerians being denied entry into the U.S. He said:
“I can tell you to ignore any call or advice to reconsider travelling to the US because there is no basis for that.
“We have absolutely no report whatsoever from the U.S. that people are being turned back from the U.S. or any of our consulate or any Nigerian that any of our people are being turned back.”
Meanwhile, in the U.S, a federal judge in Hawaii has indefinitely extended a court order blocking the enforcement of President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban.
The decision by Judge Derrick Watson officially converted a temporary restraining order to a “preliminary injunction.” A statement explaining what the judge’s description means reads:
“It is hereby ADJUDGED, ORDERED, and DECREED that: Defendants and all their respective officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and persons in active concert or participation with them, are hereby enjoined from enforcing or implementing Sections 2 and 6 of the Executive Order across the Nation.
“Enforcement of these provisions in all places, including the United States, at all United States borders and ports of entry, and in the issuance of visas is prohibited, pending further orders from this Court.”