The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington has assured Nigerians that they are not affected by President Donald Trump’s Executive Immigration Order.
The U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington said no Nigerian will be discriminated against.
Many people had become worried after Trump signed an executive order barring citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan from entering the country for 90 days and also suspended the admission of all refugees for 120 days.
Symington stressed that Nigeria-U.S is a strategic relationship one that must be sustained; adding that the connection between our two countries has been strong today and will continue to be strong tomorrow.
He however stressed that in granting of visas, the full process must be followed and not religion. The envoy therefore emphasized that should there be any rejection, it should not be construed to mean discrimination, as every single conversation will be part of the process.
Symington who briefed newsmen on the Executive Order on ‘Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorists Entry into the United States’ said as relating to Nigeria, nothing has changed.
He also said that contrary to the report making the rounds, U.S has not reduced the visa for Nigeria, saying that the two years multiple entry visa policy is still in place. Besides, he said those with valid visa has nothing to fear, as the validity of the visa will remain until the expiration date.
Also, for a Nigerian with dual nationality affiliation with the seven affected Muslim countries, the ambassador said would not be banned from entering U.S.
He said, “Security is not the job of only one country let me reassure Nigerians that every single action the US take would be on the basis of legality and due process no one will be discriminated. No Nigeria would be denied visas because he or she is from a particular region of the country.
“The new order now is for the US government to cross check as many that are coming into the US before issuing visas; we will not discriminate on the basis of religion in issuing visas to Nigerians. The two years visa is still valid contrary to reports we have heard in the media.
“Nigeria’s leadership role is crucial in the world and Nigeria cannot be blacklisted. The important of Nigeria in the world is legal.”
Also, Meghan Moore, Head of Consular U.S Embassy, Abuja explained that, “the idea of how the US government decide the duration of Visa issuance is based on Nigeria government treatment to US travelers to Nigeria, the US government generally issues multiple entry non-immigrant visas with a validity of two years to eligible individuals who are travelling with the Nigeria passport. We issue as a general rule, a two year visa and that has not changed they can be some exception based on some specific individuals.”
What has changed, according to her is the period for visa renewal.
“It used to be 45 month for visas renewal before now but as a result of the new order it’s now 12 month to renew visas. If not, registration and visa interview has to be carried out,” she explained.
“Nigerians can use the DHL renewal process if their visas expire within 12 month if not, they have to schedule another interview with the embassy,” Moore added.