The United States Embassy in Nigeria shut down and cancel its routine immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments.
According to a Facebook post on the U.S. Consulate official Facebook page @usembassynigeria on Wednesday, 19, March 2020, it says, “Information for visa applicants regarding novel coronavirus: As of March 19, the United States Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria and the United States Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria are cancelling routine immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments.
“We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. The MRV fee is valid and may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment.”
In cases of essential and emergency travel, the Consulate enjoin the general public to follow the guidance provided at http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/ng/ng-main-contactus.asp to request an emergency appointment.
Applicant are also enjoin to monitor the Facebook and web page of the U.S. Embassy for updates on consular operations.
While the embassy did not state reasons for the temporary shut down, it is likely due to the fast-spreading coronavirus and the fact that Lagos is home to Nigeria’s most active international airport, which is the entry of the index case.
Recently, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, announced a flight ban on European nations, except the United Kingdom and Ireland, after cases of coronavirus rose to over 1,200 in the country.
Another report noted that the National Association of Basketball, USA, has suspended the remaining games of the season after a Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, and Kevin Durant tested positive to coronavirus.
The series of latest developments might have prompted the US embassy to shut down its routine visa appointment at its Lagos and Abuja Consulate as a control measure, especially after WHO declared the virus as a global pandemic last week Wednesday 11, March 2020.