Hi. Do I unnecessarily explain when I’m nervous about a situation? Perhaps. That’s what the facts here and now is saying. I’d been thinking of kicking off the blog with an explanation of some sort. Ramble my way back in. But what if I just dust off the draft from two years ago which continues a series on my journey to the US? This one would touch on my US visa application in Nigeria.
If I verbosely explain my absence o, if I don’t explain o, you’ll still be reading, so…
It’s a new year and I think it’s best to do what I know is right even if it’s hard, so I’m back.
Hi reader. I’m Debby – used to be addicted to blogging then gave it up and now I crave a return of that addiction pull.
Maybe I’m back to rambling. So, I won’t. I’ll just insert here my draft from my February 2022 and that’s what you get. Blogger calls the shot.
I’m aware I owe this space some more details on my journey to Georgetown. I had a fascination of Washington DC and hoped to have an internship and career at the World Bank. Because I can totally be a zero-or-hundred type of person, from my corner in Ilorin, Nigeria, I had more awareness of DC that you’d think. I was familiar with almost every inch of Washington DC on google maps. Zoomed in on locations, and obsessed over housing but… I’m getting ahead of myself. I should tell you that after my post on deciding on Georgetown University, that I got an admission. It was music to my ears.
But it didn’t seem like feasible music.
As a Nigerian, I come from a culture steeped in difficult processes. Here’s an example; I made some friends before I resumed grad school, and one of them was also applying for a visa from her country. She told me she had a visa interview scheduled for the next week. I attempted to explain the challenge with getting an interview at the US embassy in Nigeria. Her response was “apply for an expedited visa”. It seemed so simple to her, and I was face-smacking over here, because it was the expedited visa application itself that carried a weight of misfortune on its back. That was the process I was explaining to her.
This was in 2021 and I hope for all our sakes that its way better now. I knew of someone who had put in an application for expedited visa at the embassy many months earlier and hadn’t received a reply – and here, I’d just finally gotten my long-awaited passport renewal. Timeline: about a month or less to my school’s resumption. I just put one foot before the other and didn’t overthink the things that were out of my control.
The students and the liars
But I needed information. So, I found myself discovering a world of other students undergoing the US visa application in Nigeria – some were camouflage school applicants with a decided aim of migrating, and they spent their hours receiving feedback from other liars on how to craft their visa lies. Some others were bewildered but passionate students who didn’t think the idea of a deferral or denial was fun. Some shared their testimonies from the embassy and others “claim”-ed it, asked questions or just familiarized themselves with the interview format.
When it came to the US visa application in Nigeria, there was no saying that it was better for the genuine over the liar. The backlog was harsh and rejection stories filled the air. They said it was a post-covid situation. What it came down to for me was standing in faith and thinking like a lawyer to craft a compelling application for an expedited visa, supported with evidence.
It got me something. I got an email requesting more details about my application and saying it had reached the West African service desk. I hadn’t read anything of such in the hours I spent running through countless pages of Nairaland US visa conversations, so I was thrilled. How did that happen? It may have meant nothing or something, but I was encouraged and chose to believe that my application was making waves, regardless of the story around me. I wrote back providing the details they asked for and prayed. December 8 moved to an expedited date of September 8 via an email on August 20. My resumption date was August 23. Still too late, I wrote back. There was no closer date, was the point blank response.
I got an email on Friday, August 20 saying “we reapproved your expedited appointment request” and the only interview slot online was on Tuesday, August 23 (my resumption date in school). Oh baby, I was in Abuja in no time. It was a double blessing because I got to stay with my good friend, Ini, and hung out with Amaka, Ebun, Emmanuel and Ema over my few days in the city, in preparation for leaving the country.
Here’s how you do it – Teacher
The embassy was all white, with huge columns outside the building. It felt like a sacred ground – maybe more so by the silence and discipline that accompanied each person’s walk. Lol. I breathed in the moment and felt the divine presence of God. My interview was quick and simple, it was approved, and the security officer congratulated me on my way out. I was out the building and I heard “sister…sister!” as someone came running after me. Next thing I knew, I was counselling people who’d been rejected on how to answer their interview questions next time. That was quick.
It was real and it was finally here. My family bought the next flight ticket to the famed DC, and I was able to arrive on US soil a day before it would’ve been utterly impossible for the fall semester. Remember how the blog post started, I already knew the DC as far as the map and online resources could show me. The rest of my story speaks to how I navigated DC in real time.
It was simply a telling of my story when I started out, but I do feel connected to whoever is undergoing the process of US visa application in Nigeria right now, and I pray you get divine favour and ordering of steps.
I may have just sealed the deal on making a series on my experience moving to and living in the US as a Nigerian Law student. If you have anything you’d like me to write about in this process, use my contact me button. It’s good to be back.
Your online friend,