Ambassador Gani Lawal, the President, Association of Foreign Relations Professionals of Nigeria (AFRPN), says the decision of the United States to indefinitely suspend “Dropbox” police for renewal of visa for Nigerian applicants was an extra burden on Nigerian applicants.
Recall that the US Embassy had on Tuesday announced indefinite suspension of “Dropbox” policy for renewal of visa for Nigerian applicants.
According to the statement, all applicants in Nigeria seeking a non-immigrant 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 mission had stated.
Reacting to the development, Lawal who said that each country had the right to change its visa policy, but expressed worry that U.S. suddenly changed its policy on renewal of visa to Nigerians without giving any explanation.
“The implication for Nigeria is that it pushes up additional burden for Nigerians to renew their visas when ordinarily they should have been dropped through courier, processed and returned.
“Nigeria also has the right to require the U.S. citizens to appear in person for renewal because diplomatic relations is based on reciprocity that is, if you do this, we also can do that.
“If Nigeria applies reciprocity for what the U.S. has done, America will be the one that will be hurt most because we don’t have embassies in different parts of U.S.
“What that means is that if you are in California, you have to go to Washington or New York to renew your visa, except if Nigeria do not want to reciprocate.
“What I can say is that Nigeria should reciprocate by asking U.S. citizens to appear in person when they want renewals,” he said.
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