By Menkiti Onyebuchi Benie, Features Editor

The United States Consulate changes its ‘Dropbox’ visa process for renewal

The United States Government through its Consulate in Nigeria had announced a wave of change on its visa process. The announcement came through the press office, public affairs section of the United States Embassy in Nigeria and to as a strategic online media partner.

However, this new change was said to have effect on only the ‘dropbox’ visa process. The information was contained in a press release dated May 14, 2019, and titled ‘Indefinite suspension of’ Dropbox’ process for renewals.

The press release read in its introductory part; thus: ‘effective at the close of business today, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, the U.S. Mission to Nigeria is indefinitely suspending interview waivers for renewals, otherwise known as the “Dropbox” process. Visa applications will no longer be accepted by DHL in Nigeria. Those who have already submitted their passports via “Dropbox” to DHL for processing either at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, or the Consulate General in Lagos, will not be impacted by this change.’

To further buttress what the US Consulate expected of applicants it read; ‘all applicants in Nigeria seeking a nonimmigrant visa to the United States must apply online, and will be required to appear in-person at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or U.S. Consulate General in Lagos to submit their application for review. Applicants must appear at the location they specified when applying for the visa renewal.’

The press release also dwelled on the retainment of some valuable visa processes. To inform the general public the Consulate in its press release wrote, ‘processing of diplomatic and official (A, G, and NATO class) visa applications will continue unchanged.’

The issues raised as regards the alteration in visa process is understandable in the light of the US Mission in Nigeria’s regular review of its visa processes. It can be recalled that this is not the first time the US Consulate had made similar change. It has become part of the institution’s routine check. However, the Consulate believes that these prompt changes promotes efficiency and a secured visa process.

The press release further stated why it is imperative that the changes are made. It read thus; ‘the U.S. Mission is taking this step to provide more efficient customer service and promote legitimate travel, and will continue to facilitate applications of established travelers to the best of its ability.’