The US Embassy in Nigeria reportedly made an estimated N2.1 billion on visa applications it rejected in 2015.
Findings made by The Herald indicate that the US Embassy made a total of N5.1 billion from the 158,914 applicants who sought to travel to America for business, tourism and medical purposes.
Of these only, 94,102 applications representing 60% of applicants were approved whilst 64,812 were denied.
US Embassy officials disclosed that they were able to interview 141% more applicants in 2015 due to changes made in their intake procedures. These changes include not allowing applicants to sit down but to remain standing throughout the entire process.
One applicant who recently went for the Visa interview in the Lagos Consulate complained of feeling faint and was repeatedly told by security officials that she was not allowed to stand.
Other applicants complained of sweating due to inadequate air conditioning system for the hundreds of applicants who file through the application room at any given moment on a daily basis.
Despite the harsh treatment, thousands of Nigerians still want to visit the United States, with some seeking for greener pastures abroad whilst others harbour genuine intentions to visit and return to Nigeria, their home country.
Many Nigerians complain of the arbitrariness of the Visa issuance process as the Consular Officers do not have to grant you a visa even if the error in interpreting the information the applicant provided is their own.
For instance an applicant could have a fledgling business in Nigeria, earning N50 million per annum and have family back in Nigeria, however the CO can still deny the application on a general ground under section 214(b).
Kemi a travel analyst says, “Applicants refused nonimmigrant visas are handed standard rejection letters stating that the reason they were denied is because they lack strong ties to their home countries and do not meet the standards for issuance of the visa. In fact, the actual reasons for the denial vary greatly. As is often the case, the actual reason may not be a legitimate, valid reason.”