Nigerians applying for visas to the United States are currently in a fix as they cannot seem to get appointment dates for interviews.
This is despite the payment of visa fees and other charges which range from N58,000 to N200,000.
The United States Embassy has yet to respond to our enquiries.
Depending on the class of visa, the cost ranges between $160, $190 and $265; while the exchange rate published on the US Embassy website is N370 to the dollar, which is higher than the Central Bank of Nigeria’s rate of N306/$1, and the black market rate of N363/$1.
Student visa applicants are also made to pay a separate $350 “service fee.”
A visit to the website of the US embassy by the reporter on Tuesday revealed that applicants who wish to apply for business/tourist visas were informed that there are no available dates before November 19, 2019 at the point of filling Form DS160.
However, after payment is made in full and an applicant attempts to make an appointment, one is informed through its consultant website hosted by CGI INC afterwards that there are no available dates for visa appointments.
Also, there is no mechanism put in place for a refund.
A message on its portal, which can only be accessed after payment of visa fees, reads in part, “There are currently no appointment dates available.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Supertech Educonsult, Mr. Oluyemi Ayeni, lamented that many of his students seeking admission to US schools did not get appointments despite paying the service fee.