Visa: FG engages US over dropbox suspension

Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

The Federal Government has engaged the United States Government over the recent indefinite suspension of interview waivers (dropbox) for Nigerians renewing their visas.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed the diplomatic interface, yesterday, when he briefed newsmen on the ministries’ activities during the first term of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Last week, the United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria suspended, indefinitely, interview waivers for visa renewal, also known as dropbox.

Yesterday, Onyeama said unfavourable migrant decisions taken by some countries were as a result of negative perceptions about few Nigerians who do not  obey the laws of other countries.

He said: “And, a lot of it is that they released statistics to show that 10 per cent of people who overstayed their visas, globally, are Nigerians.

“Those who do not obey the rule of other countries have more negative impact on those who obeyed.

“The issue of those who overstayed their visa is a real issue. We have engaged with the US government over it.

“We are just trying to work through them and they are looking at various alternatives and solutions and, to make it less difficult for genuine visitors and the likes.”

Onyeama added that the ministry is doing everything possible to ensure that the suspension of dropbox does not affect genuine visitors to the United States.

“We are doing what we can.

“They told me that notwithstanding the suspension of dropbox mechanism, that there would be expedited interview for certain people and that there would be that flexibility to request for interview that might make it easier for those seeking visas,” the minister said.