What Nigerian applicants need to know about obtaining US visitor visa

Foreign nationals such as those from Nigeria may want to apply for short-term visas to the United States either for tourism, business, education, and more.  

The United States is a popular destination for visitors because it is a melting point for people from various nationalities and a good holiday spot. It is also a perfect holiday destination. Also, business meetings are normally held at the headquarters of most multinational and global corporations which are based in the U.S. Hence, it is important for anyone visiting the US to know that the applicable visa category is a visitor visa. 

Visitor visas are categorized either for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).  

This article will explain briefly the different categories of a US visitor visa, how to apply and what you are not expected to do while on that visa.   

Anyone applying for a short visit to the United States can do so for the following reasons:  

  • Tourism 
  • Vacation (holiday) 
  • Visit with friends or relatives 
  • Medical treatment 
  • Participation in social events hosted by a social or service-based organization 
  • Participation by amateurs in music, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating 
  • Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit towards a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation) 

As expected, there are some activities you are not expected to do while on a visitor visa: 

  • Study 
  • Employment: An individual on a visitor visa (B1/B2) is not permitted to accept employment or work in the United States. 
  • Paid performances, or any professional performance before a paying audience 
  • Arrival as a crewmember of a ship or aircraft 
  • Work as a foreign press, in radio, film, print journalism, or other information media 
  • Permanent residence in the United States 
  • Obtain U.S. citizenship for your child if you have given birth whilst on that visa 

 How to Apply 

 There are several steps to applying for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You would need to obtain instructions from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160. You must complete the online visa application and print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview. 
  • You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements

 Schedule an Interview 

 Interviews are generally required for visa applicants with certain limited exceptions below. Consular officers may require an interview of any visa applicant. 

  • If you are 13 years old and younger, then an interview would not be required  
  • If you are 14 years old to 79, then it is required with some exemptions.  
  • For those 80 years old and above, it is generally not required. 

You should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. 

Applicants are to pay a non-refundable visa application fee if required to pay it before their interview. If your visa is approved, you may also need to pay a visa issuance fee, if it applies to your nationality. The fee is $160.  

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