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U.S Embassy Lists “Lack of Economic & Social Ties” as Major Reason why Nigerians are Denied Visa




Consul General of the US embassy, William Laidlaw, has expressed that contrary to popular opinion, US visa application processes are not as stringent as people think.

Speaking with Punch, he stated that efforts are being made to improve visa processes better for Nigerians by decentralizing the process.

He also revealed that one of the most common reasons why Nigerians are refused visa, is because of failure to show evidence of social and economic ties.

Laidlaw stated:

To really qualify for a visit to the US, you have to show you have social and economic ties sufficient to meet the immigration terms we have in our laws.

To have those social and economic ties usually means somebody who has developed a career, developed a household and has done something to develop himself within Nigeria…

If you can establish your social and economic ties and we understand who you are in Nigerian context, that allows us to make an evaluation judgment; It’s very hard for very young people, I’m sorry, but that’s the way the law is written,” he said.

He also noted that at least 7,000 Nigerians are currently attending school in the United States, and that 66 percent of tourist visa applications were approved in 2014.

Photo Credit: Bojan Bokic/


  1. @edDREAMZ

    May 22, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said..
    Many people go put this one for mind nw.

  2. Ozyy

    May 22, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    True. As long as you can prove that you are coming back to Nigeria…maybe thru a job or education . GBAM. Ur visa awaits you in days….sometimes if you have plenty money in your bank account. That can help too. They dont want Nigerians that will go and wouldn’t wanna come back. Which is sadly the case most times.

    • polypoly

      May 22, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      “It’s very hard for very young people, I’m sorry, but that’s the way the law is written” #ByeFelicia

      BS – I have about 5 students that were coming for a Geo science/ research conference and were denied visa 3yrs in a row. The Organization here in the US sent their names to the embassy and nothing.

      Some background info – This science organization that I am a member of, is based in the US. We (Americans – white & black) visited US embassy in Naija and Ghana in 2013 and 2014 to discuss our displeasure with the yearly denials, because of all the resources we commit towards their visit. Ghana rarely denies and so our beef was with Naija and they told us “Sorry about that, we would appreciate a list of the students ahead of their visit to the embassy blah blah”.
      Okay nau, we sent the list 2months in advance of the interview. Students got to the embassy and consular said they didn’t have enough ties to naija. Mind you – 2 had visited the US, 2yrs prior. Ughhh, such liars. We were liable for everything, we paid their airfares (biz class), hotel, stipends for their 7days trip. These students were not hustlers at all, they were bright scholars and we wanted to showcase their efforts to the members & corporate sponsors. They are from private UNI also, so their parents gat $$ I think.

      US Embassy in Naija is a criminal organization….tufia!!!

    • Tee

      May 22, 2015 at 4:30 pm

      The truth is it is hard for younger people. Tbh if every Nigerian didn’t try to run away, visas wouldn’t be a problem, meaning if Nigeria wasn’t so bad. So at the end it all reflects on the country. I never went to the embassy in Nigeria but I went once for my permanent resident card and I got it. My brother on the other hand, the only person without green card was denied a visitor visa. They told him he wasn’t gonna come back, honestly it makes sense, all his family was in the U.S. He moved to canada n applied and he got it cus he was in school there and he had a job. N honestly we are not the wealthiest people either. So it’s less money and more you aren’t going to come back

    • nene

      May 22, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      don’t feel bad. once you’re 18 and above, getting a visa to the US or UK is hard, especially if you have no ties, no job, or your parents don’t have enough wealth. even if you’re a university student in nigeria, that’s not enough to guarantee you a visa. a lot of nigerians have escaped abroad through the school route, so the embassies have picked up on that.

    • wendy

      May 22, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Embassy really dont give a crap if the parents have money. How important is that conference? Alot of people have used the conference excuse to get a visa and not come back. ..

  3. Tosin

    May 22, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    tbh, that’s a major reason i don’t travel. someone will come and insult and harass me, asking me daft questions, on top of my own money that i worked for in naira. instead, i will visit Ado Ekiti.

    • Author Unknown

      May 23, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      I hear you Tosin. Unfortunately, visiting Ado Ekiti does not compare to visiting San Francisco or Aspen 🙂 The truth is naijas, rich and poor, have violated the terms of their visa right, left and centre, so short of a traveller that’s had extensive travel history, it becomes guess work for the consul officer. Besides, I’m sure they have a quota they never talk about. If only our country was decent enough to be included in the visa waiver program, this nonsense will not be occurring.

    • Tosin

      May 23, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      aspen ko, Colorado ni 😀 😀 struggle for a month to collate documents and pay money to go to a cold place to pay money to roll down a mountain. my dear, let their own children go to Aspen. I’ve tried enough for them.

  4. C'est moi

    May 22, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    A mistake many make when applying for visas, particularly younger people is listing they have strong links (family ties) with the place they’re visiting. Unlike other nationalities, Nigerians rarely seek tourist visas for places they don’t have family. But the last thing an immigration official wants to hear is that all/most of your family/immediate sibling is living in England/US or where ever it is you’re looking to go. In doing so you are establishing closer ties to the visiting country than your home country & thus look like a potential overstayer in that you have a support system that could cushion you if you overstay. When applying as a first-timer don’t mention family, even if you’re going to stay with them make a hotel reservation instead. When my cousin applied for his first ever visa (Schengen) on his first ever passport, I told him not to mention he had any relatives here and just apply strictly as a young tourist looking to see the world so on paper he was a tourist on a multi-city euro trip (eurail pass), staying in hostels & repeated this formula for his US visa. Never once mentioning any family ties to the place despite having loads but emphasising his immediate family & life in Nigeria.

  5. fashy

    May 22, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    pls put of curiousity, if truly you are granting visas only to ppl with social and economic ties.. biko hu is granting visas to the drug peddlers and those “hustlers”.. did they hv social and economic ties? ppl hu ddnt even have a job in nigeria? bt they got visa to america… i know of a young kenyan boy hu had applied to go to the usa for skool.. specifically ministry type college.. for years he would apply.. nd for years he would be denied… he had no criminal record, his parents were hard working people with an actual job.. but they continually denied him… now the poor guy doesnt have a uni degree to his name. since 2010 fa.. but he is still doing the lords work and nw owns a clothing line….

    • Tosin

      May 23, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      thank you o. profiling people when they are not qualified to profile people.

  6. wendy

    May 22, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    This also applies to all embassies. Try Canada if you think that the US is difficult.

    In conclusion, all embassy is looking for ties back home. Plus they love love documents…documents..

  7. Passerby

    May 23, 2015 at 12:18 am

    They say all sorts but it really depends on the mood of the official that day. They are very inconsistent.

    • Abena

      May 23, 2015 at 10:36 am

      You are very right! They can say all sorts but from personal experience and from friends experience, it all depends on the mood of the Consular! Bunch of fraudsters

  8. sarah

    May 23, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    US Embassy is a gamble. if d visa offiser does not like your face u dont get d visa , if u like get all d ties in d whole world. but canada works with your documents and if u hav a genuine one u get the visa easy easy. US should use the drop box method and genuine people will get the visa cos theiir visa officeer mood determine your issuance or refusal. i hav been to both so i know what am saying

  9. Beverly A

    May 24, 2015 at 2:52 am

    Ties mean nothing abeg. Even married people abandon their partners, huge mansions are sold . I don’t think it is ties issues, I think that’s how they make money from people’s desperation. They deny you and ask you to reapplya few days later. Did you suddenly inherite things? Because of these, people put hands into bad things.

  10. AbujaKenneth

    May 25, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    This is not entirely true. I am a successful lawyer and farmer with wife and children based here in Nigeria. I have been visiting UK and other countries for holidays in the past years but when I applied for US visa last year but I was denied. I wonder with this my profile whether I have not establish sufficient social and economic ties to merit a visa.

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