According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a total of 29,723 Nigerian immigrants who travelled to the United States of America in 2018 overstayed their visas.
In a new report released by the DHS, the number of Nigerian immigrants who overstayed their non-immigrant tourism/business (B1/B2) visas between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018 represents 15.18% of the total 195,785 expected departures.
The DHS described an overstay as a non-immigrant who was lawfully admitted to the U.S. for an authorised period, but remained beyond his or her authorised period of admission. Of the 29,723 culprits who arrived in the North American country through the air or sea port of entry, there’s no departure record for 29,004, while 719 left after their visas officially expired.
Nigeria’s high overstay rate might not be unconnected to the announcement this week by the U.S. embassy in Nigeria that the visa interview waiver for those renewing visas in the country has been indefinitely suspended.
Before the suspension, Nigerian holders of US visa types B1/B2, F, H, and L could renew their visas online by processing it through DHL using one of several dropbox locations across the country without attending physical interviews.
With the suspension, such people will now have to visit the embassy in Abuja or consulate in Lagos for in-person interviews, a process that’s expected to lead to delays in scheduling appointments.