Despite pandemic, U.S. visa application surged by 2.5%
Susan Tuller, the United States Mission Country Consular Coordinator in Nigeria, on Tuesday disclosed that the number of Nigerian students who applied for visas increased by 2.5 per cent for the 2019/2020 school year despite the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms Tuller who spoke during the US Consulate’s Visa Day celebration in Lagos said this made it the eighth year in a row that the percentage has increased.
According to her, the number of student applicants has reduced globally, but Nigeria has over 13,000 students currently studying in the U.S.
Welcoming students who will soon be leaving for their programs in the U.S., she said “While student visa numbers have gone down worldwide due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, student numbers from Nigeria were up 2.5 per cent for the 2019/2020 school year, the eighth year in a row the percentage has increased.
“Currently, there are over 13,000 Nigerian students – and soon a few more! – studying in the United States,” Ms Tuller said while explaining that despite the disruption of operations due to the pandemic, the U.S. will continue to prioritise student visa applications from Nigeria.
“While the pandemic has impacted consular operations, reducing the overall number of applicants we can schedule, Mission Nigeria continues to prioritise student visa applicants.
“So far in 2021, we have interviewed over 2500 student applicants, and we will continue to prioritise student visa appointments throughout the summer months.”
The coordinator advised students who have been accepted at a U.S. university but have not applied for a student visa to do so, in order to obtain an appointment before the school term begins.
Ms Tuller further noted that “Higher education plays a central role in U.S.-Nigeria relationship.
Nigeria sends more students to American colleges and universities than any other country in Africa and is the eleventh largest source worldwide of international students to the United States.
Our EducationUSA Advising Centers in Lagos, Ibadan, Calabar, and Abuja work to make a U.S. education more accessible to Nigerian students.”
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