If you are planning to travel to the United States of America (U.S) from Nigeria, whether it is a business trip, visit or vacation you must first ensure that you have an authorised International travel passport that is still valid for at least six (6) months.
Bear in mind that getting the visa largely depends on the via t leastcer (the interviewer). Yes, you have to convince them but in the end It’s their decision so, if you have done all you need to do be anxious for nothing, keep an open mind. It’s yea or nay. Don’t sweat it!
Note: All the information you need regarding your visa application is on the approved website but below are some advice for intending applicants:
- If you can read and write then I would advise that you do the entire process by yourself so that you get acquainted with and understand the requirements clearly. That way, you also get to know the process first-hand.
- In filling your D-160 document ensure to keep information truthful and straight forward. Do not tell lies it always complicate things so take your time to do it carefully. Read and understand before responding. If you enter a wrong information, it may hinder your chances. There is no need to rush it you can always log in/out. Take your time to complete the process/ form by yourself. Get help if necessary but be involved.
- Pay attention to your visa application number it changes as you make changes (after logging out). Ensure that after you have secured an interview date you do not go back to make changes except you want to reschedule. If your applicant number does not tally with what is on the embassy appointment sheet, you would be asked to reschedule.
- Make sure to upload your passport photo with the recommended specification. You will not be allowed in for your interview if you have not uploaded your passport.
- On your interview day, avoid wearing/taking prohibited items such as jewelleries, makeup, sunglasses, liquid etc. Do not over dress (it’s just a few minutes interview). Keep it simple.
- At the venue, do not pay attention or patronize road side agents. You are already at the embassy just walk-in (you can keep any prohibited items at the security check points) and ask the embassy staff any question (it’s pretty straight forward though) they are usually busy and time conscious but they will guide you better, at worst you will get a “Try Back” (TB) which is better than doing it wrongly and you wouldn’t have to pay another visa fee.
All the information you need regarding your visa application is on the website. Take your time to read and understand all the requirements before your proceed to pay for your visa fee. Before issuing you a visa, the embassy wants to know all about you and your trip but because the interview is quite a brief one you never know which of the “5Ws and H” might pop-up. Be prepared anyways.
Although all the information regarding your proposed trip would have been entered in the D-160 form, the interviewer may ask you the same questions for verification/confirmation.
From experience, here is a checklist you need to tick off in preparation for your visa interview.
- Why do you want to travel to the U.S? – You must clearly state your reason for traveling. Whether for business or for pleasure.
- Where exactly would you be going to? – This is to confirm your itinerary, that you have a landing address for real. Your exact destination should be made known.
iii. Who is inviting you? – Just to be sure that your host is well known to you and is really expecting you and a good relationship with your host, this question may arise and may require proof. So, keep your invitation letter and any relevant evidence of your relationship handy.
- When do you intend to travel/return? – They want to be sure that you understand your visa category and do not plan to over stay.
- How do you hope to fund your trip? – They want to know your source of income (you may need to explain in detail, where and how you work, your customers/clients etc.)
Other questions like if you have travelled out before and where or how long your previous trip lasted, marital status, number of kids etc. can come up but always remember that the interviewer has the final say.
If you have ticked all items above, with a little confidence and have a positive attitude you are set for your U.S interview.
Written by: Claudia Nwankwo