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Drop box visa ban: FG engages US government, blames Nigerian migrants

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama says the federal government has engaged the US government over suspension of the drop box visa regime for Nigerians visiting America.

Onyeama however lamented most of the unpleasant migrant decisions taken by some countries were triggered by the negative perceptions about few Nigerians who do not obey the rules of those countries.

He spoke on Tuesday during an interactive session with the Diplomatic Correspondents on his stewardship. The issue of migration is a challenge and such a sensitive topic because the US has just suspended the drop box for visas renewals.

“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 alternative and solutions and to make less difficult for the genuine visitors and the like. Things like you have to have guarantor or surety and the like all those things are what they are trying to apply to really address this prickly issue,” he said.

He said the ministry was doing what it could to ensure the issue of the recent suspension of drop box for visas renewal does not affect genuine visitors to the US.

“We are doing what we can they (U.S. Embassy) told me that notwithstanding the suspension of drop box 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 visa,” he said.

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