The “Land of the Free” is located on the North American continent, covering a vast majority of the land mass, sharing a border with Canada on the north, Mexico on the south, with ocean covers of the Atlantic to the east and the Pacific to the west respectively. It is home to the world’s third-largest population of over 318 million with diverse culture. It has a numerous array of popular tourist destinations ranging from the Grand Canyon, the Arizona desert, the Appalachian Mountains, Niagara Falls, cosmopolitan cities of Manhattan and Chicago, the gambling city of Las Vegas, New Orleans (the birth place of jazz and Mardi Gras) and the film studios in Hollywood – Los Angeles, various national monuments in Boston, Seattle, Washington and Mount Rushmore to the warm sunny beaches of Florida, Hawaii and Southern California, etc.
Traveling to the US for tourism as a Nigerian citizen requires travel documents like the international passport and a travel visa. The US has an array of travel visas to cover your travel needs; you only have to endeavor to pick the right one. The various US travel visa types include:
The B-1 visa is for business travelers consulting with business associates, attending scientific, educational, professional or business conventions/conferences, settling an estate or negotiating contracts.
The B-2 visitor visa is for people traveling to the United States for recreational travel such as tourism, visits with friends or relatives, medical treatment and activities of a fraternal, social or service nature. It is often common to combine the B-1 and B-2 visas and issued as one visa.
The US student visas are non-immigrant visas for individuals who intend to study in an American institute, college or university. The US student visa is divided into two sections namely; the F-1 and the M-1.
Other US visa types are the C1 transit/ship crew visa, H/L employment (work) visa, I journalism/media visa, K-1/K-2 fiancé or spousal to a US citizen visa, E investor visa, J1 exchange visitor visa.
General visa application and approval to the United States is quite difficult and strenuous, you must prove to the consular officer that you qualify for a U.S. visa in accordance with the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Section 214(b) that you’re not an intending immigrant but rather a temporary visitor. With the right documents, sufficient funds, no criminal record, travel history, legal residence in Nigeria, as well as other binding social or economic ties, convincing interview answers and the right attitude you might just succeed.
US Visa Application Requirements
- A valid international passport for travel to the United States with at least six months travels duration beyond your intended stay duration. In order to get your passport, visit an immigration office in your state, you can read up on that here
- A Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application Form, DS-160 filled online along with a barcoded confirmation page for this form. Visa applicants must answer all questions completely, digitally sign the DS-160 form and then submit, print out a confirmation page for your visa interview. For the DS-160 and instructions for completing it, click here. For our detailed travel lounge guide on the DS-160 form click here.
- One recent colour passport photograph (5 CM x 5 CM, white background only), one uploaded online with your DS-160 form and another brought to your visa interview. Click on This page for passport guidelines.
- A receipt showing payment of your $160 (N53, 600) non-refundable non-immigrant visa application processing fee paid in Naira at GTbank. Click here to verify.
- After a visa is issued, you may be required to pay an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, depending on your nationality. Click here to find out if you must pay the visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.
- Original financial evidence from your bank indicating your ability or your sponsor’s ability to pay for travel expenses, accommodation costs, and tourism activities. This can be indicated with six months bank statements indicating influx and outflow of cash through valid legal means to your account.
- Finally, an interview appointment letter confirming that you booked an appointment through the CGI appointment system via ustraveldocs or by calling its call center at 01-440-6218.
Other supporting documents required during your visa interview at the embassy or consulate should be brought along in a sealed envelope. Such supporting documents include;
- Proof of travel history such as any document or previous visa stamps attesting to your previous visits to other countries.
- Current proof of income, tax payments, property or business ownership, or assets and other documents demonstrating strong social and family ties to Nigeria that will compel you to return to your country after your intended visit to the U.S. ends.
- Your travel itinerary such as flight/hotel bills and any other explanation about your planned trip such as places to visit, etc.
- A letter from your employer detailing your work/employment history such as position, salary, how long you have been employed, any authorized vacation, and the purpose, of your U.S. trip.
- Criminal/court records pertaining to any arrest or conviction anywhere, even if you completed your sentence or were later pardoned.
- Supporting documents of your relationship to a sponsor if you will be financially sponsored by another person. Such documents include your birth certificate, the sponsor’s most recent original tax clearance forms and original bank statements or fixed deposit statements.
US Visa Application Process
Here are the basic steps to apply for your US tourist visa:
- Pay your US tourist visa application fee at a GT Bank branch or online if you have a GT Bank account and get your teller receipt and confirmation number. You will need the receipt number when scheduling your visa appointment.
- Complete your DS-160 application form online here, when you have finished the application, you should print the DS-160 application confirmation page and receipt number. You will need the confirmation page on the day of your interview.
- Use the receipt number from the visa fee you paid to register for an appointment online on the CGI visa appointment website for the US Mission to Nigeria. Click ustraveldocs to book your appointment. You can request an appointment in either Abuja or Lagos and where you would like to pick up your travel documents should you qualify for a visa.
- If extra documentation/passport submission is required from you, a 221(g) letter will be sent to you by the Embassy or Consulate General to submit for further processing, you should submit those documents to a VFS document collection office, which will in turn deliver your documents to the Embassy or Consulate General. There is no fee associated with this service.
- When your visa is approved, the VFS document collection office will hold your passport for pickup at the address that you specified when you scheduled your appointment. There are no extra fees associated with this service.
Important points to note
- Do not present false documents. This fraudulent act can result in permanent visa ineligibility across several embassies, this is because they all communicate and share information about travelers. If confidentiality is of concern, the applicant should bring the documents to the Embassy in a sealed envelope; the Embassy will respect your privacy and not make this information available to anyone.
- Each applicant may schedule only one interview appointment. If you would like another appointment date, you must cancel the original appointment and make a new one. You will have to cancel all previous appointments and make a new one.
- Visa applicants are fingerprinted using an ink-free digital scan by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate General as part of the visa interview.
- Visa applicants should appear at the consular gate on the date and time of their appointment. Before the date of the appointment, applicants can reschedule up to two times for free.
- The earlier you book your appointment, the more likely you are to be able to get the interview date and time you want. B-1 visa applicants are expected to apply at least three months in advance of the intended date of travel.
For more additional information on US B-1 tourist visa visit the websites below:
VFS Passport Submission Centre, Lagos
Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way,
Opposite Treasure Garden Estate,
Third Roundabout, Lekki Phase I
VFS Passport Submission Centre, Lagos
16, Billings Way
Oregun Industrial Area
VFS Passport Submission Centre, Abuja
62, Lobito Crescent,
United State Embassy Address
Embassy of the United States of America
Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Abuja, Nigeria
Telephone: +234 9 461 4000
United State Consulate Address
2, Walter Carrington Crescent,
Telephone: +234 1 460 3400
Office Hours: Mondays – Fridays, 07:30 AM – 16:00 PM, offices are closed on Nigerian and American public holidays.