The US Embassy in Abuja and the Consulate in Lagos received more than 220,000 non-immigrant visa applications between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014.
The Consular Chief of the embassy, Ms Stacie Hankins, disclosed this while responding to questions from newsmen on the new visa procedures on Tuesday in Abuja.
Hankins said the figure represented an increase of about 38,000 visa applications when compared with the 182,000 applications in the previous year.
According to the embassy, 15,500 immigrant visa applications were received last year, 14, 900 of the applications were granted; while the majority of the more than 182,000 non-immigrant visa applications for the same year were also approved.
“Between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013, the embassy in Abuja and consulate in Lagos received more than 182, 000 non-immigrant visa applications, of which 65 per cent was approved.
“Between October 1, 2013 and September 30, this year, we received more than 220, 000 applications. Again, the majority of those applications were approved,” Hankins said.
“We hope that Nigerians’ desire to visit our beautiful country will continue to grow. And we look forward to working with our partners to allow qualified tourists and business travellers to do so.” She added.
Hankins said the US visa application witnessed a steady increase in the last five years, adding that the mission did not foresee a decline in the trend. She also added that there was no limit to the visa applications the embassy could receive and approve.
Since the bulk of visa non-immigrant applicant fall within the tourists and student categories, Hankins said the embassy had expanded its distribution centres to Port Harcourt.
“As is the case with our DHL partner locations in Lagos and Abuja, visa applicants with approved applications can now collect their passports with their new visas from the DHL collection centre in Port Harcourt.”
“Applicants will have the option of selecting any one of the three sites as their pickup location when they complete their online application. Similarly, applicants, who qualify for the drop box renewal programme, can submit their passports and applications to the Port Harcourt collection centre.”