US Consular Officer, Patty Neary, made this known yesterday in Abuja during the monthly press briefing, where he said Nigeria is now a priority alongside Brazil and China, adding that, time for issuance of visa will be reduced.
Neary stated that as a priority country, Nigeria will be given more officers and more staff to facilitate issuance of visa. She further said in the 2012 fiscal year, the US has processed over 40,000 visas, compared to the year 2011, while also saying that the US has increased the figures by 11 percent.
According to Neary, "Majority of those visas have been issued. Nigeria became a priority nation in 2012, following the recent upsurge. We are absolutely committed to facilitating legitimate travels and to do that, you need to help us."
On the issuance of student visa, Neary added that the US wants Nigerian students to study in the US, but that they have to plan ahead. Her words "They should apply 120 days before their studies begin and we encourage them to apply as soon as possible. Service fee must be paid and come, prepared to speak to us. Our goal is that every qualified student visa applicant is able to begin his or her program of study on time. Good reasons for choosing a US school should be given rather than coming to tell us about the school building, library and all that."
Neary also said there was no need to pay a tout to assist in the processing of visa, saying applicants should rather go on the internet and pay $160 for visa.
"We can't stress enough, the need for all of you to make your own appointment individually because of its importance. You do not need anyone, you do not need a company to help you process your visa," she said.