Connect with us


EXCLUSIVE: Nigerian Lady Cries Out Over Student Visa Denial by American Embassy



Miss Ujunwa Lilian Nweke

 Miss Ujunwa Lilian Nweke, a Nigeria-based student of City University of New York, Bronx Community College has cried out over unjustified denial of her student visa request by the American embassy in Nigeria.

The 31-year-old, from Ifitedunu in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra state, has been left stranded in Nigeria because of the visa hitch. This is in spite of the fact that she has completed two semesters of her nursing degree programme with the American university.

Speaking to AnambraDaily in an exclusive interview over the weekend in Awka, Miss Nweke said she and her family had suffered unimaginable emotional pains and economic losses as a result of the travel hitch.

On her travails, the nursing scholar recalled: “Having completed the various admission processes and gotten a matriculation number, the school sent an invitation letter (F-1 Paper, stating clearly that I am one of their students. With that F-1 paper and other personal documents, I went for the student visa interview at the American Embassy in Abuja on September 17, 2021. For inexplicable reasons my visa was denied.

She expressed shock that American embassy officials could turn her dream of completing her nursing degree in America into a lifelong nightmare, despite her meeting the criteria for the US student visa.

“Initially, I thought it was a kind of oversight that caused the first one so I decided to reapply and, indeed, went for a second visa interview on  January 21, 2022.

Again, my visa application was denied. The only thing that the interviewer asked me during the interview was where my step dad was living and I told them that he was based in the United States. The consul then said “I see!” The next thing he gave me a denial paper.

Before that he had asked me why I was going to US to study a second degree course, and I told him that my first degree was in biological sciences but I want to study nursing in America.  I also explained to him that I had started the course online with my school during the COVID-19 pandemic and that I had paid school fees twice to the tune of $8,084 which is about $4,042.60 per semester, based on which I had been receiving lectures from the school online. I told him I had proof of this by way of my first and second semester examination results which I had there with me. I also added that, with the pandemic crisis over, it was time for me to go join my classmates on campus and continue my studies. They ignored these facts and went ahead to deny me the visa.

According to her, the American embassy has a policy that, once an applicant is denied visa, he or she has no other channel to demand for review of the case.

“It’s a case of if you get the visa, you go home and celebrate, but if you are denied, you go home and lament over your luck. Whatever losses you incur is immaterial to them. I believe this is wrong. There should be a platform for review of cases of visa denials. She wondered: “What if the interview officer fails to cross check the documents before making final decision?”

She disclosed that she suspected foul play in her visa interview “because the necessary verification that the embassy was supposed to carry out about my application was not done. They simply refused me visa because they had that belief that if they allowed me to go and study in America I won’t return to Nigeria after graduation. Such assumption does not hold water.”

She argued that her visa denial by the American embassy was unjust, saying “I make bold to say that because I attended the interview with all my documents, my sponsor’s bank statement of account, my school fees receipts, my first year results and other things which they were supposed to check. But, for reasons best known to them, they failed to do that. I was even trying to explain to them that I had studied for one year with the school online during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and that I had my results, but they didn’t give me a listening ear. It was really sad and I cried bitterly because they refused me my American dream.”

Miss Ujunwa Lilian Nweke
Miss Ujunwa Lilian Nweke

She revealed that the visa hitch had taken a tremendous toll on her.  “It has been frustrating months for me. I lack words to describe what I have passed through since this issue started.

“First, I left my job in order to focus on my travel plans. It never occurred to me that I would be denied the visa. Having quit my job and unable to travel for my studies, I couldn’t find any other job. Everybody knows that getting a job is very difficult these days in Nigeria and my studies are also held up, pending.

“So, I find myself in what the Catholics will call limbo right now. It’s like a nightmare that refuses to end. I doubt if I can concentrate even if I get a new job because I am still at a loss what happened to my dream.”

She appealed to the embassy authority to rescind their decision.

“I want to appeal, especially to those in charge of student visa at the American embassy in Nigeria up to the White House to review my case. Their decision to deny my student visa was unjustified and must be reversed. The way they handled my case was unacceptable to me. Not just that they denied me visa unjustly, but they created a system that had made it impossible for me to either contest their decision in court or anywhere else.

She vowed to keep fighting until she gets justice.

“I cannot give up my dream of completing my studies just like that. Right now, I want the world to hear me and know that the American Embassy in Nigeria is trying to destroy my future. And until I get my visa or compensation for the damages they have done to me, I cannot back down.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *