National Assembly Summons US Ambassador Over Unfair Visa Denial

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington, has been summoned by the National Assembly over the high rate of visa denials of Nigerians by the embassy.

The invitation of the ambassador is said to be at the instance of Kayode Bello, a political activist who sent in a petition over the matter to the House.

Kayode Bello

According to an investigation carried out, Nigerian students seeking to study in US schools were denied visas despite having spent quite a lot of money on different fees.

These fees, it was learnt vary from application fees, evaluation fees, courier fees, service fees, visa fees and school fees.

These fees are non-refundable.

While some of the students claimed that they were denied visas because they were not married, others said they were denied because only one of their parents was their sponsor.

A typical scene at embassies.

A parent claimed that his daughter’s interview was cut short because she asked the interviewer to speak up.

A former ambassador to the US, John Campbell had, however, told our correspondent that visas were given by consular officers on a case by case basis, adding that the refusal of many people to return home after finishing their programmes made the process difficult.

The activist, Bello, petitioned the National Assembly through a member representing the Ede and Ejigbo Federal Constituency, Prof. Mojeed Alabi, after suffering a similar fate of denial.

The summon, titled, ‘Indiscriminate denial of United States of America visa and illegal increment of exchange rate of visa fee by the American embassy’ was signed by the House Committee Chairman on Public Petitions, Uzo Azubuike.

The two-page document, dated November 27, 2018, and a copy of which was received by our correspondent, said the hearing would hold on Tuesday, December 4 at 2pm at the House of Representatives Room 429.

See the letter:

The House asked the ambassador to present 20 copies of his defence.

The Clerk of the House, Mr Omale Adoyi, confirmed the development to our correspondent on Monday.

He, however, said the US embassy rejected the summon.

“But we will go on with the hearing and may have to adjourn if they fail to show up,” he added.

 

What do you think is the way forward to the high cost of application of US visa and the seeming high handedness on the part of the embassy? Do you think un-successful visa applicants should get a refund of their money? Lets have your thoughts on this issue in the comment section.