US visa for Nigerian citizens
As Nigeria doesn’t participate in the US Visa Waiver program, Nigerian citizens need to apply for a visa to enter the US in most cases. Here are the basics of applying for an American visa for Nigerian citizens.
- Types of US visas for Nigerians
- US visa application in Nigeria
- How long can a Nigerian citizen stay in the US on a visa?
- Get a US visa photo for Nigerians online!
Types of US visas for Nigerians
In general, US visas are divided into two kinds:
- Non-immigrant. This category is intended for tourists, entrepreneurs, students, or employees who will spend some time in the United States for a specific purpose and not relocate to the country. An important rule determines success in obtaining this type of visa: you must prove that you do not intend to immigrate to the US and have ties that hold you to your home country.
- Immigrant. These visas are issued to applicants planning to move to the United States permanently. These include diversity visas (issued when you win the Green Card Lottery), K-1 and K-2 visas (fiancee visas), and others.
In any case, US visa processing usually involves filling out applications, gathering your documents, and passing your interview(s) at the embassy/consulate.
This article will focus more on non-immigrant visas, as it is the kind of travel permit most applied for, and explains the basics of other visas as well.
US visa application in Nigeria
Here are the steps of applying for a US visa in Nigeria:
Register at CGI Federal
Your visa application starts online on the US Department of State’s CGI Federal website. Register on this site and provide the needed personal details truthfully according to your official documents.
Schedule your visa appointment on the site and complete the forms according to your travel purposes.
Pay visa fee
The fee you have to pay depends on your visa type. In most cases, the non-immigrant visa costs $160.
In Nigeria, you can pay your US visa fee online using GTBank’s online bill pay service or cash at GTBank branches.
In any case, keep the receipt as you will need it further in your application process.
Fill out Form DS-160
Each applicant for non-immigrant visas needs this form filled out, including children. Use these instructions to make sure you fill out everything correctly. Keep the barcode number from the form to schedule your appointment. You will have
Schedule your appointment
You will need to attend an interview at your local US Embassy or Consulate to confirm your identity. Schedule your appointment online at CGI Federal website. You will need:
- Your passport number;
- The receipt number from GT Bank receipt;
- The ten-digit barcode number from the applicant's DS-160 confirmation page.
Attend the visa interview
You can choose to have your interview at the US Embassy in Abuja or Consulate General in Lagos. Have the following documents with you:
Supplementing documents to bring to your US visa interview in Nigeria
- 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);
- Your visa application fee payment receipt from GTBank;
- Your DS-160 confirmation page;
- Two recent photographs fulfilling the requirements;
- The valid e-mail address and telephone number;
- If applicable, required documents based on visa class.
US visa photo requirements for applications in Nigeria
You will need to bring photos for your application, and the image must fulfill the following criteria:
- The picture must not be older than six months;
- The photo’s background must be plain white;
- The US visa photo size is 2x2 inches (5x5 cm) in print and 600 - 1200 pixels in digital;
- Face to photo ratio: your face should occupy about 70% of the picture.
Here’s an example of a valid US visa photo:
To ensure your photo fulfills the requirements, follow our tips at the end of this article.
Collect your visa upon approval
If your visa is approved, the visa will be sent to the document drop-off location you selected when you scheduled your appointment.
How long can a Nigerian citizen stay in the US on a visa?
Depending on the kind of visa you have, you can stay in the US from days (for example, with transit visas) to years (such as with employment visas). B1 and B2 visa (visitor visa) holders are allowed to stay in the US for up to 6 months at a time.
Get a US visa photo for Nigerians online!
As mentioned above, US visa photos have to follow specific requirements to be accepted. To avoid wasting time and resources, we recommend you trust the editing of your picture to a professional tool that guarantees that your photo will fully satisfy the parameters up to the subtlest details to be accepted by the embassy or consulate.
Visafoto has been processing US visa pictures since 2013. Just upload a portrait (or even a selfie) of you taken in decent lighting, with proper dress code, and adequately posed: look straight to the camera and keep a neutral expression. Visafoto will take care of the rest, and you’ll get your photo in mere seconds.
Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here, and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport, or ID.
You will get two files from Visafoto: a digital photo for electronic applications and a template ready for printing.