According to Homeland Security, a total of 29, 723 Nigerian immigrants overstayed their visas in the United states.
In a report released by Homeland Security, Nigerian immigrants who overstayed their visas between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018 represents about 16% of the total of about 200,000 cases where US immigrants overstayed their non-immigrant tourism and business (B1/B2) visas.
An overstay, as described by the Department of Homeland Security, is when a non-immigrant who was lawfully admitted to the United States for an authorized period, but remained beyond his or her authorized period of admission.
Of the 29,723 Nigerian visa violators who got to the US through air or sea port, thee was no departure record for about 29,004 of them, while 719 left the country after their visa expired.
Nigeria immigrants have a history of overstaying their visas. Records show that in 2017, about 19, 676 Nigerian citizens overstayed their visas. And in 2016, a total of about 12, 043 Nigerians overstayed their visas.
Nigeria’s high overstay rate may be connected to the recent announcement by the U.S. embassy in Nigeria. In the announcement released by the embassy, the visa interview waiver for Nigeria renewing their visas in the country has been “indefinitely suspended.”
Prior to the suspension, Nigerian citizens who held US visa types B1/B2, F, H and L could renew their visa applications without attending any physical interviews. All they had to do was process it through DHL using one of the dropbox locations in the country.
With this new development, Nigerians who want to renew their visas would have to visit the embassy in Abuja or consulate in Lagos for interviews. This process is expected to lead to delays in scheduling of appointments.
The embassy claimed that this decision was made to provide “efficient customer service and promote legitimate travel”.