US Student visa requirements for Nigeria
Have you always wished to study in the US? Perhaps you are looking for ways to apply for a US student visa. Guess what, your wish is about to come to pass because this post will uncover everything you need to know about applying for a US student visa in Nigeria.
Before applying, you need to understand the US student visa requirements for Nigeria. This will increase your chances of getting a US visa in Nigeria.
What is a US Student Visa
The US student visa is also known as the US study visa or the US study permit. It is a type of visa that lets you study in the United States of America.
US Student Visa Types
F1 – This is the type of visa for students planning academic studies in an accredited, private secondary school, college or university in the United States.
M1 – This is for applicants who are planning to study non-academic training or vocational studies in the United States.
Travelling with Your Family
The F1 Visa also allows you to travel with your family members below the age of 21. If you are travelling with your family, each dependent will have to also pay the visa fee. Dependents are F2.
Also Read: How to Apply for US Visa in Nigeria
Requirement for US Student Visa in Nigeria
When Applying for a US Visa in Nigeria, these are the following requirements
Choose a Great Course
The first thing to do when applying for a US student visa is to choose a course to study. When choosing a course you have to ensure you choose the best course that will give you the best chance of success in life.
How To Choose a Course of Study/Choose Something of Interest
Choose something you have an interest in. Something that grabs your attention and keeps it for a very long time. Something you don’t mind ending up doing for the rest of your life. As a young person, it’s possible you are interested in many things. Note, you do not have to be good at that thing from the unset, just make sure you have a clear interest in it. Once the interest is there, developing the skills would come naturally so attending classes to better yourself in that course will be self-motivated and fun.
Choose Something Marketable
In today’s world, different skills now have a different levels of demand. We tend to have moved more to digital skills. Internet is now where most businesses take place. But, sadly, only a quarter of the workforce has the relevant job skills to be employed in the digital market.
Before choosing a career path, you need to look at how the course is geared towards the world trends today. Some courses will always be relevant in any society while some jobs won’t. Some of the jobs we considered well-paying ten years ago are becoming obsolete in today’s world.
Check the Career Growth
The truth is that some job opportunities have a better chance for growth than others. You can move up the ladder quite quickly in any organization you find yourself in because such opportunities evolve rapidly and will need you to adapt faster. Because of that, the organization will always want you to learn new skills, and this leads to promotions or even better pay.
The Length of The Course
Some courses will require you to study for more years than others. Medical degrees will require you to go to school for up to six years and can be time-consuming as well, making it difficult to get a side job while schooling.
So you have to brace up when studying these types of courses. But the good thing about them is once you complete studying them, the job market is always prepared to absorb and pay you well. These types of career paths are still in high demand, because of how difficult they are to study and not many people choose these career paths.
But whether you chose a longer or shorter course, what matters is your self-perspective when it comes to that decision.
The Degree Cost
You pay differently for different Courses. You will need to first analyze the job market before choosing your career path. By doing this, you might end up studying a great and marketable course that is also very affordable.
The Search for a Good US School
When you have successfully settled the choice of Course. You head straight to Google and search schools in the United States and their application procedures. You might need to apply to 2-3 different schools to increase your chances of acceptance.
Things To Do When Applying for a Degree
Make Sure You Check Application Deadlines
The deadlines for applications vary among schools. Like application deadlines for the fall semester can range from as early as November of the previous year to late spring of the next year.
Make Sure You Start the Application Processes Early
Most schools require either of these two tests. Test English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to test your English proficiency skills. Try to study for them and make sure that the test results reach the schools before the application deadline.
If you are going for an undergraduate programme. Another thing you would submit is the official transcript from your high school or university for people going for post graduate program, A bank statement that will show you have sufficient money to finance your studies and maybe a letter of recommendation from your teachers.
Make Sure You Use Study Guides
Getting a study guide before taking your TOEFL or IELTS is very good. This guide will help you prepare adequately for the English Language proficiency test.
You can also get study guides for Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT), even though not all college requires one to take either of these tests.
Practice Your English Proficiency Skills
Try and read American newspapers, magazines and books to learn how they speak. Also, listen to audiobooks by American authors. And watch American movies too.
Participate in Extracurricular Activities
Your grades alone don’t matter when being considered for admission to a college in the US. Sports, volunteer work, religious involvement, travel experiences etc. All these show your abilities outside of the classroom. And these kinds of activities help to strengthen your application.
Do not Limit Your Choices to only the Schools you know
There are over 4,500 higher institutions in the US, and many of these schools offer high-quality education. Never limit your choice to only the schools you know from movies, friends etc. The United States of America is a country with a wide range of choices of higher institutions.
Note that when applying Pay attention to details
Failing to complete all the sections of your application may likely cause it to be denied. Little omission and mistakes can keep you from being accepted to study in the school of your choice. Make sure to read all sections of the application carefully and follow instructions.
Look for Scholarship/ Student Loans.
When you go through some school websites, you will see options for scholarships and student loans, once you see that, what you do is quickly apply.
The US Admission Process
When applying for a US study visa in Nigeria. There are some things you need to take along. The American Embassy in Nigeria issues a student visa after you must have officially been accepted by a college or a university.
After you have successfully secured an admission, you will receive an admission letter and another letter known as form i-20 or DS-2019. And when you have gotten these letters, then you may proceed to apply for a US student visa in Nigeria.
The Visa Application Process
Do The Online application
You will be required to fill out an application form online. This form is called the DS160 form and is available on the US immigration website. After you complete the form, a DS160 confirmation page will be generated and you will be required to print and bring the letter alongside when coming for the interview.
Pay for your SEVIS fee.
You will be required to pay a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS I-901) fee of $350. To make this payment, all you need to do is simply visit the SEVIS page of the US immigration and customs enforcement website. The payment is through western union or the use of a US bank-issued credit or debit card. You can also look for someone in the US to help you make the payment. This is because you can not make this payment in Nigeria. After you have successfully paid the SEVIS fee, you will receive a SEVIS receipt and on it will be written your SEVIS confirmation number which will be used to book an appointment.
Book an Appointment
When applying for a US study visa in Nigeria, you will be required to book an appointment before going to the embassy. You will first need to register an account then you sign in to proceed with the appointment. To complete this step successfully, you will need the DS160 confirmation that you previously completed, your visa fees payment receipt you received from the bank and your SEVIS receipt. Please note that you can pay the visa fee at GTBANK (GTCO). Make sure you go to the bank with your passport data page for payment before completing this step. Also, you can make this payment via the GTCO bank app.
Go for Your Interview
When the selected interview appointment date comes, you should go to the embassy for your interview. You can either go to the US embassy in Abuja or the US consulate in Lagos for this interview. Note that your preferred state of the interview should have been chosen on the appointment booking page before now and you are strongly advised to only go for the interview in your chosen embassy. When going for the interview, remember to go with these necessary supporting documents listed below:
Documents to Take to the US Embassy for US Student Interview
These are the following documents you must take to the US embassy for the interview
International Passport: Your international passport is one of the most important documents when applying for a US student visa in Nigeria. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months before your travel date.
Visa Fee Receipt (MRV): This is the visa, it is a compulsory fee all applicants planning to study in the United States of America must pay. It is currently $160 (68,800).
Admission letter (i20): This is proof of admission and it is usually issued by the school. Once you have been issued i20. This means the school has granted your admission.
SEVIS Fee Receipt: This is a compulsory payment that you pay to homeland security.
DS160 confirmation page: This is proof that you have submitted your application.
Appointment booking/Confirmation: The appointment confirmation is proof that you have booked an appointment date with the US embassy.
Passport Photograph: You need a recent passport photograph not more than 6 months. The passport should be on a white background and it should be 2 by 2.
Statement of Account: Your sponsor’s bank statement of account but if you are sponsoring yourself, simply go with your statement of account. Whether it’s a sponsored or self-sponsored application, the statement must show that there is enough fund to cover your tuition and living expenses.
Also Read: How to Get Early US Appointment Date in Nigeria
Go for Interview
Excellent interview performance is always good. Try to speak to the consular in a good and fluent manner. Your response should be concise and clear. You are expected to show some level of intelligence academically, especially when answering questions related to why you chose to study the course you chose instead of another. You must be able to explain the benefit you stand to gain upon completing your studies and your reasons should point towards progressing your country with the education you acquired.
How to Renew your US Student Visa
The US Embassy in Nigeria stated that Nigerian students currently studying in the US are eligible to renew their student visas without an interview when they return to Nigeria this summer.
The embassy says the qualification for this procedure is that you must be physically present in Nigeria and renew a student visa that is still valid or expired within the past 24 months. And renewing this visa either to continue with the same course of study even at a different institution or attend the same institution even if it is a different course of study, doesn’t matter.
For people in Abuja it is advised to go to www.ustraveldocs.com/nn and follow instructions to complete the application and visit a designated DHL facility to drop off their application with the following documents: A printout of your submission letter printed out and also A completed DS-160, An approved I-20, A receipt for their I-901 SEVIS fee, A GTBank (MRV) receipt for their visa fee and their passport containing the expired student visa and (if the passport is also expired, a current valid passport will be required) and passport photograph.
How to Renew US Student Visa in Lagos (Interview Waiver)
For Lagos applicants, they are advised to go to www.ustraveldocs.com/ng and follow the instructions to make an interview waiver appointment for a student visa. You will be required to come in person to the U.S. Consulate on the appointment date and time with the following documents: A completed DS-160, An approved I-20, A receipt for your I-901 SEVIS fee, A GTBank (MRV) receipt for your visa fee and your passport containing the expired student visa. Note, if that passport is expired, a current valid passport will be required and a passport photograph.
But if the applicants don’t meet these criteria, they can visit www.ustraveldocs.com/ng to schedule a regular appointment.
US Visa Application
Applying for a US Student Visa shouldn’t be a problem anymore for you after going through this very informative post. If you follow through with the information provided here, you are already on your way to making that dream of studying in the US a reality.
Once you are accepted to study in any school in the United States, know that you have embarked on a journey. For so many, this is a life-changing experience. You can look forward to the American dream. This feeling is difficult to describe, only if you have experienced it yourself.
Following these steps listed above is a sure way to get admitted into the United States of America as an international student, where you study, come back and make your parents and country proud.