The United States Mission in Nigeria has denied media reports circulating that it has put a ban on issuing student visas to Nigerians.
A report last week had claimed that the U.S. immigration office had effectively put a stop to issuing student visas to Nigerians until further notice.
The report said the decision was a new move to impose visa restrictions on countries whose citizens have a track record of staying past the validity of their short-term US visas.
However, in a brief statement issued on Monday, June 17, 2019, the U.S. Mission said the report is fake news.
“#FakeNews Alert! Be advised, reports of Student Visa ban for Nigerians is false. If you have seen such manufactured item on Facebook and Twitter or received it via WhatsApp, please communicate that it is false,” the Mission said.
Last month, the Mission indefinitely suspended the visa interview waiver for those renewing visas in the country.
Before the suspension, Nigerian holders of US visa types B1/B2, F, H, and L could renew their visas online by processing it through DHL using one of several dropbox locations across Nigeria without attending physical interviews.
Even though the Mission said the new measure was to provide more efficient customer service and promote legitimate travel, many believe it’s a measure by President Donald Trump’s administration to clamp down on immigration.
A total of 29,723 Nigerian immigrants who travelled to the U.S. in 2018 overstayed their visas according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Nigeria’s overstay rate, as well of that of nationalities of other countries, had previously been reported to be a source of concern for Trump whose administration has been notoriously tough on immigration