Renewing your United States visa as a Nigerian used to be a piece of cake—well, almost. Traveling outside Nigeria has never really been a piece of cake for anyone.

Before now, you could sit at home, send your US visa renewal application via DHL and booyaka, you get a new US visa while having lunch with your girlfriend in a ritzy restaurant somewhere in Lagos or Abuja; or while plunging your fingers into a hot, messy meal of Amala in Ibadan!!

US Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb Stuart Symington. His country has made the visa process tougher for Nigerians

Well, not anymore. President Donald Trump and the United States have changed the game. 

What’s the new rule now?

The United States Embassy in Nigeria announced this week that if you want to renew your visa as a Nigerian, the “Dropbox” process would no longer apply, unless of course you are a diplomatic or government official.

“Dropbox” is the fancy name given to the process of simply renewing your visa by sending your application via courier or DHL to the embassy, where it is then processed and a new one re-issued.

“Effective at the close of business today, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, the US Mission to Nigeria is indefinitely suspending interview waivers for renewals, otherwise known as the ‘Dropbox’ process”, the US Embassy in Nigeria announced in a press statement.

The statement further reads as follows: “Visa applications will no longer be accepted by DHL in Nigeria. Those who have already submitted their passports via Dropbox to DHL for processing either at the US Embassy in Abuja or the Consulate General in Lagos, will not be impacted by this change.

“All applicants in Nigeria seeking a non-immigrant visa to the United States must apply online and will be required to appear in person at the US Embassy in Abuja or US Consulate General in Lagos to submit their application for review. Applicants must appear at the location they specified when applying for the visa renewal.

AFP
Nigerian immigrants flee the country for better economic opportunities (Guardian)

“Processing of diplomatic and official (A, G, and NATO class) visa applications will continue unchanged.”

The US Mission in Nigeria says its visa processing procedures are regularly reviewed in order to “assess our ability to quickly, efficiently, and securely process visa applications”.

Simply put, if you are a Nigerian who wants to travel to the United States and want your visa renewed, you have to show up at the consulate or no visa renewal for you.

That sucks, right?

What caused this rule change?

US Embassy sources tell Pulse that some Nigerians thoroughly abused the Dropbox waiver by overstaying their welcome once they touched down on American soil. 

The US is also worried that Nigerians have been using their visas to march across the border to Canada, a situation that is fast straining diplomatic ties between Canada and the United States.

Nigerians are also infamous for corruption, money laundering, internet fraud, drug trafficking and all of that. By showing up in person to defend why your visa should be renewed, the US believes it can apprehend some of the criminal elements harming Nigeria’s reputation abroad and then deny them re-entries. Sounds like a plan, doesn't it?

Safe to say, this is Nigeria’s poor reputation through the years, finally catching up with her. 

AFP
Trump pledged support for Buhari in their meeting in Washington on April 30, 2018 (Presidency)

And if you know Trump, he isn't really a fan of Nigerian immigrants in particular or immigrants from other sh*hole countries in general. This was always coming.

What are your thoughts on the end of the Dropbox for Nigerians?