Nigerian applicants applying for US student visas have reportedly faced increased rejection. This comes as the rate of US F1 visa denials peaked in 2022. Reports suggest that two in three applicants were denied.
The Associate Director of International Enrolment at Northeastern University, Salmaan Faraaz revealed that some applicants were denied more than once. He added that others faced up to four times denial.
Data from the 2022 Open Doors indicates that there were 14,438 Nigerian and 4,916 Ghanaian students in the US, up from 12,860 and 4,229 compared to 2021.
Reasons why Nigerian applicants face US F1 visa denials
Applicants from Nigeria are facing rejection because of forged documents, student finances, missing strong ties to their home country, and unpreparedness for US education. This is according to some consular offices.
Faraaz, who disclosed this, noted that many Nigerian students in the US also fail to return home when their visa expires. He noted that this is another reason why Nigerians found it difficult to secure visas. The previous behaviour of students in the US makes it harder for others to get visas.
What consultants are saying about Nigerian applicants and the US FI visa denials
A consultant at Seed Educational Consulting noted that some Nigerian applicants are above the required age for undergraduate studies, and just have an uncle as a sponsor. He also noted that for other applicants their age gap can not be explained. Most importantly, applicants from Sub-Saharan Africa have no reason for choosing specific universities and programs of study.
Other counselors also highlighted demonstrating proof of strong home ties and sufficient funding from parents or direct caregivers as reasons for rejection.
To avoid further rejections, Nigerian applicants must pay attention to the following to ensure successful visa application:
How Nigerian applicants can avoid US F1 visa denials
A Senior Consultant at AECC, Princewill Attai offered applicants the following advice:
- Seek scholarships or tuition discounts that can increase your chances of a straightforward visa process that will end in approval.
- Be extremely knowledgeable about your course of study. Read about the modules, the top five courses in the program, the program director, lecturers, etc.
- Learn to relate your reasons for pursuing a degree in the US to your educational background and experiences. Avoid rubber-stamped answers. Tell a personal and convincing story during your interview.
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