Trump has ordered that the issuance of Study Visas to be paused indefinitely until further notice.
As the Trump administration considers a new immigration measure to impose visa restrictions on countries whose citizens have a track record of overstaying beyond the validity of their short-term US visas.
Presently the relationship between the government of the federal republic of Nigeria and the government of the United States of America [USA] may have triggered the Trump administration into issuing unofficial directive to the Homeland Security instructing for the stipulations for entry into the USA for student applicants for study visas to be ‘iced’ and placed on “paused” indefinitely until the immigration policies are officially amended.
Nigeria particularly receives a vast majority of non-immigrant B1/B2 visas issued to Africans. It accounted for over 25% [132,137] of visas issued to Africans in 2018 alone.
The USA immigration office have effectively halted issuing student visas to students coming from Nigeria until further notice. This is until the Trump administration pushes through its immigration policy to finality.
An immigration officer in New Jersey, North East region of USA who spoke to us stated that the majority of students coming from Nigeria do not return to Nigeria upon completion of their studies. “They overstay”. The officer added the list of backlog of students awaiting visa issuance is long and growing as a result.
The USA immigration had previously made the process of visa application difficult and costly. In Nigeria, the processing and associated fees is estimate N400,000 for each applicate. The fees are non-refundable. Upon non approval, the applicant can only reapply after six months after paying the processing fees again.
But the latest directives have halted the processing indefinitely, unofficially.
But more damaging is the action against supposed stolen funds and corrupt politicians. The immigration office working under the guidance of Homeland Security have tagged majority of the students seeking for study visas as children of political leaders holding elective offices in Nigeria. The Immigration in effect have begun requesting for source of income.
Previously, the immigration only requested for prove of ability to provide for school fees, boarding and other related expenses. But that has changed. The office now requests for source of income, evidence funds are legitimate funds. As a result, many have turned away. Many would-be students, children of top politicians in Nigeria unable to provide convincing evidence of source of income have turned to other countries.
Tertiary institutions in the USA are feeling the pinch. The foreign student body which form a significant percentage of revenue for the universities have since decreased noticeably.