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Documents Needed to Travel to USA from Nigeria

If you are planning to travel to the United States from Nigeria you will need to know which documents are required. Immigration Advice Service is experienced in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Call IAS on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929 or contact us online and let us help you with the entry requirements and supporting documents for your travel to the USA.

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Required Documents for Entry to the USA

There are certain documents that Nigerians who wish to enter the US are required to have. As well as a valid passport, it is also required to have a visa, the specific type of which will depend on the reason for the trip.

You will need to translate any travel documents that are not in English, and these translations must be certified. The original documents and the certified copies may be required for your visa interview.

Other documents for travel will be required, such as a letter of invitation from your family or friends or a letter of sponsorship. Proof of financial subsistence for the length of your stay will be needed, along with a return ticket to prove that you will leave the country at the end of your visit.

If you fail to provide the necessary documents for the visa you are applying for or supply misleading information, you will be denied entry, or you may be deported.

Passport Requirements for USA Travel

There are different passport requirements for citizens of the Six Month Club member countries. Members are exempt from the six-month rule and only require a passport which is valid for the length of their stay. Nigeria is a member of the Six Month Club so your passport need only be valid up to your departure date.

If your passport has expired or is damaged in any way, you may be denied entry into the US. A damaged passport is typically deemed invalid for travel, so you must replace it before entering the country.

Holders of an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) need a biometric passport while US visa holders can enter the country with a temporary passport.

ESTA: What You Need to Know

ESTA is for the citizens of countries who are part of the Visa Waiver Program. Nigeria is not a part of this program, so any Nigeria citizen will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa instead.

If you are a business visitor you must apply for a B-1 Visa or if a tourist you will need to apply for a B-2 Visa. If you have been accepted to study in the US, you must apply for an F-1 or M-1 Visa.

If you not a Nigerian citizen but are travelling from Nigeria you may be apply to travel to the US under the ESTA programme. Reach out to an immigration expert for confirmation of your specific eligibility.

Visa Requirements for Travel to the USA

Most travellers to the USA require a visa, and there are different types depending on the purpose of your visit. Therefore, the US visa requirements for Nigerian citizens will depend on the reason for travel.

If you are entering the country for business, then you need to complete a B-1 Temporary Business Visitor visa application. This is intended for those visiting the US for up to 180 days for business or commercial reasons. An extension of another six months may be granted in some circumstances.

The B-2 Tourism Visa is valid for up to 180 days but it is possible to apply for an extension of six months.

The visa application process can be lengthy, and you may be required to attend an interview at a US embassy or consulate in Nigeria. The wait times for interview appointments may vary according to the location, time of year or visa category. Hence, it’s advisable to apply for your visa early and check the interview wait times.

If you have been enrolled on an academic program with a school that is recognised by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, you can apply for an F-1 or M-1 Visa for Academic Students.

What to Bring to US Visa Interview

The documents required for a US visa interview in Nigeria include the following:

  • Valid passport
  • Nonimmigrant visa application, form DS-160 confirmation page
  • Receipt for payment of the visa fee
  • Recent colour photo taken within the last six months and fulfilling all visa photo requirements
  • Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for academic visas
American passport by airplane window

Green Card and Entry into the United States

If you have a valid, unexpired Green Card, you can use it to enter the US. A Green Card is a secure document, and holders can travel to the US without a passport. No additional documents are required.

You may need to apply for a re-entry permit in some instances. For example, if you have been absent from the USA for over a year or your US permanent residence is considered abandoned as you have taken up residency in another country.

Documents Required for USA Entry with Children

All children travelling to the US, including infants, must have their own travel documents, such as a passport, visa or documents from one of the Trusted Traveler Programs.

In addition to the child’s passport and visa, other documents may be required to enter the USA. This may include a birth certificate, adoption papers, or custody documents.

Failure to provide the necessary documentation may result in denial of entry or deportation.

To ensure that you have all the required documents and comply with all the regulations for entering the United States with children call IAS today on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929 or get in touch online so we can assist you with your visa application.

Get in touch with our expert lawyers for assistance on your immigration application.


Additional Requirements for Minors Traveling to the USA

Children under the age of 18 travelling to the USA without both parents or legal guardians may require additional documentation. This may include a letter of consent from the absent parent or legal guardian and proof of the minor’s relationship to the accompanying adult.

The letter of consent must contain an acknowledgement from the child’s parent/s that their child is travelling outside the country with their permission, it should be signed by the parent/s, and preferably be in English. The letter should also be notarised.

USA Entry and Import Regulations

Certain items are restricted or prohibited from entering the USA including certain foods, plants, and animal products, as well as firearms and other weapons. You must check the specific import regulations for any items you are bringing into the country and ensure they are compliant with USA entry and import regulations.

Failure to comply with import regulations may result in fines or legal consequences.

Entering the USA: Step-by-Step Procedure

To enter the US from Nigeria, you must follow a set procedure. The steps you will need to take to travel to the US are:

  • Identify which visa you should apply for to suit your situation, for example, a business, tourism or academic visa
  • Fill out the visa application for the relevant visa category
  • Pay the visa application fee and keep the receipt as proof of payment for your visa interview
  • Make an appointment for a visa interview with the US consular services in Lagos or Abuja
  • Gather all the required documents for the interview based on the visa category you have applied for
  • Attend your visa interview

The entry process into the United States may vary depending on your mode of transportation and the specific port of entry. You must present your passport, visa, and any other required documentation to an immigration officer. You may also be fingerprinted and photographed. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in your entry to the country being denied.

You must follow all instructions from immigration officers and comply with any additional requirements or restrictions.

If you have any questions about a British or US citizenship application, our team is happy to assist.

Tips for a Smooth Entry into the USA

The following are some tips to help you make a smooth entry into the US:

  • Make sure to have all necessary documentation, that it is up to date and that you have any necessary certified translations
  • Follow all instructions from immigration officers
  • Be prepared for possible delays and long lines
  • Declare all items and goods you are bringing into the USA
  • Do not make jokes about security issues or entry requirements to immigration officers
  • Familiarise yourself with the customs and culture of the USA to avoid misunderstandings or cultural faux pas

What to Do If You Are Denied USA Entry

If you are denied entry into the USA, you may be provided with a reason for the decision. In certain cases, you may be able to appeal the decision or apply for a waiver or other form of relief. You should ensure you understand your options and seek legal advice if necessary.

You should not attempt to re-enter the USA without proper documentation or authorisation when refused entry.

Proof of Vaccination for USA Entry

Nonimmigrant visa applications do not have specific vaccination requirements to enter the US. As of May 2023, nonimmigrant visitors to the US arriving by land, air or sea no longer have to show proof of full vaccination against Covid-19.

How Can IAS Help You?

Many people visit the US and apply to travel to Canada, but not all of them are approved. This could be because they don’t meet the requirements or don’t know how to apply effectively. If you are in this situation, you should consider working with IAS immigration lawyers to help you get your Canada visa. They can guide you through the process and ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria.

Our legal advisers can work with you to help get everything prepared and in order. This includes helping you prepare your responses to the visa application, gathering and organising your supporting documents, and even writing letters of recommendation if needed. We can ensure you have the best chance of being granted your Canada visa.

For more information about visiting Canada from the USA as a visitor and how we can help you with the Canada visa application process, contact us at  +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929 or online today.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You can check the status of your visa application online at the US Department of State’s dedicated portal by entering your case number. Visa processing times vary but you can check with the US consulate in Nigeria for waiting times which can sometimes be several months.

Travellers travelling to another country who will have a brief layover in the United States when the sole reason for entering the US is to transit will need a Transit Visa. This includes cruise ship passengers, crewmembers joining a ship or aircraft and foreign citizens proceeding to or from the UN headquarters district.

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