NIGERIANS have been barred from participating in the US visa lottery programme in 2022 as part of the ongoing imposition of restrictions on the country’s citizens in what is feared may be a response to growing insecurity and other threats to life and property.
In January this year, the US said it would suspend the issuance of visas that can lead to permanent residency for nationals of Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar. Among other things, the US has also introduced reciprocity fees for Nigerians thereby nearly doubling the cost of obtaining a visa based on the premise that Americans seeking Nigerian visa were paying too much to secure it.
In a further development, today, the US published a 19-page document is titled Instructions for the 2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, imposing further restrictions on Nigerians. The US Department of State published a statement which read: “In Africa, natives of Nigeria are not eligible for this year’s Diversity Visa program.”
It stated that Nigeria was barred because more than 50,000 of its citizens immigrated to the US in the previous five years. Part of the document read, “Applicants who are selected in the program must meet simple but strict eligibility requirements to qualify for a diversity visa.
“The Department of State determines selectees through a randomized computer drawing. The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions and no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available Diversity Visa (DV) in any one year.
“For DV-2022, persons born in the following countries are not eligible to apply because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years. They include Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories and Vietnam. Persons born in Macau and Taiwan are eligible.”