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Japa: Six tips for Nigerians to boost their chances of securing US visa

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The United States (US) visa, is undisputably, the most sought-after in the world for relocation because of the exceptional life opportunities attached to it.

A US visa is a permit issued by the US government that grants Nigerians and other non-citizens entry into the country for certain purposes, such as work, study, or travel.

This document must be attached to the applicant’s passport before gaining access to enter as an immigrant or non-immigrant to the US.

An immigrant visa is for those who plan to stay in the US permanently, while a non-immigrant visa is for those who intend to visit the US temporarily.

Non-immigrant visas allow people to work or study in the US for up to 180 days, while an immigrant visa allows you to stay indefinitely and work without restrictions.

As a Nigerian, whether you are applying as an immigrant or a non-immigrant, you must master some tips to boost your chances of getting a visa at the US embassy.

In this article, there are six tips to help you increase your chances of securing a US visa.

1. Research your visa category 

As a US visa applicant, you must thoroughly research the visa category that best suits your purpose of travel and gather all the necessary documents accordingly.

2. Begin early

As thousands apply for US visas daily, you must start the application process well in advance to give you enough time for any unprepared delays.

3. Get ready for questions

You must prepare for the visa interview by engaging and familiarising yourself with potential and unexpected questions and practising concise, confident responses.

4. Honesty

Be honest and transparent during the interview, because offering false information can lead to serious consequences and future visa rejections.

5. Prepare all documents

Present your supporting documents in an organised manner, making it easier for the consular officer to review and verify the information.

6. Show commitment to Nigeria 

You need to demonstrate strong ties to your home country, such as stable employment, family, or property, to assure the consular officer that you will return after your authorised stay (if applicable).

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Home delivery of passports to start in June, says Tunji-Ojo

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Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, minister of interior, says home delivery of passports will start in June.

Tunji-Ojo spoke on May 24 when he inspected the electronic gates at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport’s new terminal in Abuja.

He said the delivery will not include every location to avoid overloading and damaging the system.

The minister said the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) would start home delivery in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Abuja.

Tunji-Ojo said for those in the diaspora, the service would begin in the United States and the United Kingdom, with testing to ensure its effectiveness.

According to the minister, the lack of data centres delayed the home delivery of passports.

He said NIS had been using a private company’s data centre but needed to establish a permanent solution to address the issue.

“We have completed the whole solution but when we came on board, we realised that the data centre was not really there,” Tunji-Ojo said.

“We were leveraging on a private company data centre and we appreciate them for that assistance. We think that it is better to create a permanent solution to problems rather than quick fixes.

“We could have done it in February but we had to build our data centre from scratch to be able to keep the integrity of our data and national security intact. This is more important.

“It is disgraceful that NIS is 61 years old and NIS is a custodian of biometric data of Nigeria and we believe that NIS should be in charge of the data of Nigeria.

“It is not acceptable that this data is domiciled in a third party and that is why we have been able to do this.”

Tunji-Ojo said the data centre has been constructed and the passport delivery solution has been resolved.

“It is about national security and I can assure you that It is comparable with anyone you can find anywhere in the world,” he said.

“We have built the data centre, sorted the passport delivery solution and done the final presentation in terms of technology deliverables and the tracking solution which will all be embedded in the application we have so we do not create multiple lines of failure.”

‘E-VISA PROCESSING TIME REDUCED TO 48 HOURS WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY’

Tunji-Ojo said the final presentation of the electronic visa has been completed, adding that it will reduce the visa processing time from 72 hours to 48 hours.

“The passport automation process is almost complete,” he added.

Also speaking, Kemi Nandap, comptroller-general (CG) of NIS, said over 107,000 passports are ready for collection and urged applicants to pick them up.

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Naira gains at official window, depreciates at parallel market

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The naira depreciated to N1,510 against the dollar at the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Friday.

The current FX rate signifies a decline of 0.33 percent from the N1,505/$ reported on May 22.

Currency traders, also known as street traders, in Lagos, quoted the buying rate of the local currency at N1,485/$ and the selling rate at N1,510/$ — leaving a profit margin of N25.

At the official window, the naira appreciated by 0.19 percent against the dollar from N1,485.66/$ on May 23 to close at N1,482.81 on Friday.

According to FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees the official window, a dollar was sold as high as N1,511 and at a low rate of N1,400 during trading hours.

The daily foreign exchange market turnover was $556.25 million.

On May 23, Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the pains caused by ongoing monetary and fiscal reforms will soon be over if Nigerians remain focused on supporting the policies.

“As the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, I remain committed to repositioning the bank to deliver meaningful data-driven and sustainable solutions with a clear positive impact on the livelihood of all Nigerians,” he said.

“However, addressing these challenges requires the concerted effort of all stakeholders, especially the monetary and fiscal authorities working in harmony.”

Cardoso said the CBN will continue to implement bold reforms to make the economy work for all Nigerians, and the apex bank has started tightening monetary policy to combat inflationary pressure and produce favourable outcomes.

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Turkish Airlines to resume flight operations to Nigeria today

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Turkish Airlines says it will resume flight operations to Nigeria on May 25 following the disruption of the company’s operations.

In a report by NAN on Friday, the airline said the decision came after discussions with officials from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) during which they assessed its request.

“Due to actions at our counter at the Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport that jeopardised our flight safety and continued for four days, we had to cancel our scheduled flights to Lagos as of Tuesday, May 21,” Turkish Airlines said.

“Turkish Airlines, prioritising the safety and security of its passengers and crew, will resume flights to Nigeria on Saturday, May 25, as it has done since 2006.

“As long as the NCAA and FAAN authorities take the necessary precautions and maintain safety of flights, crew, Turkish Airlines Lagos personnel, and passengers at the airport, we will continue to operate with the same sensitivity.”

Turkish Airlines said the decision was also influenced by a joint press release from the NCAA and FAAN, which announced that additional security measures would be implemented to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

The airline said Olubunmi Kuku, FAAN general manager, provided a written statement, promising to implement unprecedented measures to ensure the safety of its operations.

“We want to thank the authorities for the assurance they provided, and we will like to emphasise that Turkish Airlines is the airline flying to more countries than any other in the world,” the airline said.

“We adhere fully to the laws and regulations of the countries we operate in and act in accordance with international business ethics principles.

“We have informed the relevant authorities that we will not be able to carry out the scheduled flights until our flight safety is guaranteed and requested assurances from them.”

On May 22, NCAA said it would not hesitate to impose severe penalties on Turkish Airlines for its alleged mistreatment of Nigerian passengers.

NCAA said over 300 passengers were affected by the discord involving the Turkish Airlines and aviation unions, as the carrier has cancelled flights in and out of Nigeria from May 21 until May 23.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on May 21, picketed Turkish Airlines in Lagos over the dismissal of some of its members.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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