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US Tourist Visa Requirements for Nigerians

If you’re planning to visit the US as a tourist, you need to obtain a US tourist visa before your trip. There are a few different US tourist visa options for Nigerian citizens and it’s important to choose the right one for your circumstances.

For more information about US Visitor visas for Nigerian citizens, including the eligibility criteria, how to apply, and advice about your situation, contact our experienced legal team today. Contact our office in Lagos which you can reach by calling +23413438882 , or speak to us on +44 (0) 3316300929. Alternatively, you can contact us online for advice about your situation.


Are you Looking to Visit the US as a Tourist?

If you need advice and support about obtaining your visa, we can help. Our team of experienced lawyers have already supported many Nigerians with their Tourist visa applications. Get in touch with us and we will assist you from start to finish to ensure that your visa gets approved. You can relax and trust us to do the job for you.

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Overview of US Tourist Visas

Nigerian citizens who wish to visit the United States as a tourist for a temporary stay must obtain a tourist visa before their trip.

Nigerians are not eligible for the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) but can apply for a B1 or B2 tourist visa. It is possible to combine both of these visa categories into one visa.

To obtain a US tourist visa, you will need to meet the eligibility criteria and complete the application process including an interview and providing supporting documents.

US tourist visas are valid for 60 months and allow applicants to stay in the United States for an initial 6 months at a time. This can be extended by up to 6 months depending on your circumstances.

There is no limit to the number of times you can visit the United States in this period, however, the purpose of your visit must be eligible under your visa category.

Being granted a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. Entry to the United States is at the discretion of US Customs and Border Protection officials at the point of entry.

It is important to provide accurate and up-to-date information when applying for a visa. Attempting to obtain a US visa through fraud or misrepresentation could result in permanent denial of entry or refusal of a visa.

What’s the Difference Between a B1 and B2 Visa?

Which visa you should apply for depends on the reason for your visit to the United States. The following table explains some of the eligible circumstances for each category of US tourist visa.

B1 Visa Eligibility

Eligible circumstances include:

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Attending scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions or conferences
  • Settling an estate
  • Negotiating a contract

B2 Visa Eligibility

Eligible circumstances include:

  • Tourism
  • Vacations/ holidays
  • Visiting friends and family
  • Medical treatment
  • Participating in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organisations
  • Participation by amateurs in musical or sports events or contests, if not being paid for participation
  • Enrollment in a short recreational course of study which is not for credit towards a degree

What Can’t You Do on a US Tourist Visa?

The following circumstances are not permitted under B1 and B2 visas:

  • Educational study
  • Employment
  • Paid performances or performances before a paying audience
  • Arrival as a crew member on a ship or aircraft
  • Work as a member of the media and/or foreign press
  • Permanent residence in the United States
  • Travel to give birth in the United States (birth tourism)

Our expert team is here to guide you through the US Tourist Visa requirements for Nigerians,

What Is the Eligibility Criteria for B1 & B2 Visas?

To apply for a B1 or B2 visa, you must show that:

  • You reside and have other ties (such as employment or a family) outside the US
  • The purpose of your trip is temporary and not permanently residential
  • You are visiting for an eligible circumstance for a limited amount of time
  • You have sufficient funds to support your expenses during your trip

There are limited circumstances in which personal or domestic employees and crew members who work aboard vessels within the Outer Continental Shelf may work in the US with a B1 Visitor visa.

To be eligible for this, your employer must be either:

  • A US citizen with a permanent home or residency in a foreign county, who is temporarily visiting or assigned to the US; or
  • A foreign citizen who is in the US on a nonimmigrant visa in one of the following categories: B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or Q.

For advice about your personal US visa situation, contact our office in Lagos by calling +23413438882, or +44 (0) 3316300929. Alternatively, you can contact us online for advice about your situation.

How to Apply for a US Tourist Visa

To apply for a B1 or B2 visa, you must complete several steps, including attending an interview and providing supporting documents.

Step 1 – Complete your application

To apply for your US visa, you must:

  • Complete the online nonimmigrant visa application (Form DS-160)
  • Upload a colour 5 x 5 cm photograph of yourself which was taken within the last 6 months and is in front of a plain white or off-white background.

Your documents should be written in English or the official language of the country in which the interview will take place, or else translated and certified by a competent translator.

Failure to complete or provide any of the above information can delay the visa application process.

Step 2 – Pay the visa fee

As of June 2023, the application fee for a B1 and B2 visa for Nigerians is $185 USD.

This fee is non-refundable if you cancel your appointment or if your application is rejected.

Step 3 – Book your interview appointment

Once your application has been submitted and your visa fee has been paid, you should book your interview appointment.

Interviews take place at the US Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. In Nigeria, the US Embassy is in Abuja and the US Consulate General is in Lagos.

It is possible to arrange an interview in a different country to the one in which you reside, however, it may be more difficult to qualify for a visa.

Waiting times for appointments can vary from between a couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on location, season, and visa category.

Step 4 – Attend your interview

During your pre-arranged interview, an official will assess your eligibility for a US visa.

Documents and supporting evidence you should bring to your interview include:

  • A printed copy of your appointment confirmation page
  • A passport or other travel document which has at least two blank pages free to enable your visa to be attached and CBP officials to stamp on entry to the US. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from your arrival in the US
  • Copies of any past visas including the passport to which the visa is attached.
  • A printed copy of your visa fee receipt
  • Proof of ties to the country in which you reside such as a letter from your employer, property information, a company registration certificate
  • Proof supporting the purpose of your trips such as a travel itinerary, proof of accommodation, or an invitation letter written by a US citizen or resident
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover your visit to the US
  • Any documents which will help support your eligibility

Depending on the US Embassy or Consulate, electronic fingerprint scans will be taken either before your interview, or just after. Applicants under 14 years of age or those aged 80 years old and above are exempt from this.

Contact us now to get started on your US Tourist Visa application.

How Do You Extend Your B-1 & B-2 Visa?

If, during your visit to the US, your circumstances change and you need to stay in the country for longer than 6 months, you can request an extension of up to 6 months.

To be eligible for a visa extension, you must have:

  • A valid nonimmigrant status
  • Been lawfully admitted into the US with a nonimmigrant visa
  • A valid passport for the duration of your stay
  • Not violated the conditions of your visa
  • Not committed any crime that makes you ineligible for a visa

To apply for a US visa extension, you should complete Form I-539 at least 45 days before your B1 or B2 visa expires.

Remaining in the US after your visa expires is illegal and could prevent you from entering the US again for up to 10 years and/or make you ineligible for future visas.

How Can IAS Help?

A US tourist visa is one of the most commonly applied for visas offered by the US government.

If you are Nigerian and thinking of applying for a US visa, IAS can help.

Whether you have a query about what documents to take to your interview or your US visa application has been refused, our expert team is ready to offer you advice.

We have a dedicated office located in Lagos who are experienced in helping Nigerians with the entire visa process.

For more information about US Visitor visas for Nigerian citizens, including the eligibility criteria, how to apply, and advice about your situation, contact our experienced legal team today. Contact our office in Lagos by calling +23413438882, or contact us on +44 (0) 3316300929. Alternatively, you can contact us online for advice about your situation.

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

You are required to declare on your visa application if you have ever arrived, cautioned, and/or convicted of an offence anywhere in the world. This includes spent convictions.

If you have been convicted of an office, you may be permanently ineligible to be granted a visa and will need to obtain an ineligibility waiver to travel to the US.

There are many reasons why a US visa application can be rejected.

Some of the most common include that you:

  • Did not fully complete the application or provide all of the required supporting documentation
  • Did not prove eligibility for your visa
  • Have a conviction for a crime that is deemed ineligible
  • Have 2 or more convictions with a total sentence of imprisonment for 5 or more years
  • Did not provide an adequate affidavit of support, if required
  • Misrepresented information or committed fraud in your application
  • Previously stayed in the US after your visa expired

If your visa is rejected, you will be given a reason for the decision.

If your application has been refused under INA 221(g), it means that officials believe important information is missing from your application.

In this situation, your case may undergo administrative processing or you will be asked to provide additional information. You will be informed of which applies to your case following your interview.

If you have been refused for another reason and believe your circumstances have changed, you may reapply in the future by beginning the visa application process again.

If you wish to renew an existing US visa, you will have to go through the same process you would follow when applying for a new visa.

However, in certain situations, you may be eligible for the Interview Waiver (IW) if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are physically present in Nigeria.
  • Your previous visa was issued in Nigeria and is in the same classification as your renewal application.
  • Your previous visa was a full-validity visa that expired within the last 48 months or will expire in the next 3 months from the date of your renewal application.
  • You have all of the passports that cover the period since receiving your previous visa to the passport which will cover your renewal application.
  • You have never worked or remained in the US without authorization.
  • You have never been arrested or convicted of a crime in the US, including any crimes you later received a waiver or pardon.

During the application process, you will not be able to retrieve your passport.

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