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US announces categories of visa applications exempted from interview

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THE United States (US) has scrapped interviews for Nigerians seeking renewal of F1 or academic J1 visas.

In a statement released by the US Consulate Office, to qualify for this application procedure, those seeking to renew their student visas without an interview must be physically in Nigeria with a student visa that is still valid or has expired within the past 24 months.

As part of the requirements, the application for visa renewal must be either to continue participation in the same major course of study even if at a different institution, or attend the same institution even if in a different major course of study.

“By scheduling a no-interview student visa renewal appointment, you’ll be able to drop off your passport at a DHL location in Lagos, on a date and time you schedule using the Consulate’s online booking system. The U.S. Mission in Nigeria is committed to returning your passport to you within two weeks from your appointment date and will prioritize any required follow up interviews,” the statement said.

“On the day and time of your scheduled appointment, visit a designated DHL facility to drop off your application with the following documents: A printout of your submission letter (printed from www.ustraveldocs.com/ng), a DS-160 completed in the last six months; an approved I-20 and a receipt for your I-901 SEVIS fee.”

Other details according to US Consulate include “Passport containing the expired student visa (if that passport has expired, a current valid passport must be included),” and a passport photograph taken in the last six months meeting the requirements.

Applicants who already have sscheduled appointments but qualify for the no-interview student visa renewal based on the above criteria can cancel their appointments and re-apply via the link.

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However, those who do not meet the requirements will have to schedule a regular appointment and when applying as a family, each applicant must meet the qualifications individually.

For instance, the US Embassy would reject a renewal for a child if the parent is the only one who qualifies under the guidelines and in that case, the child would need to schedule an appointment and visit the Embassy or Consulate for an interview.

“If you do not qualify for a no-interview student visa renewal, please do not cancel your appointment,” the statement noted.

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