By Prudence Arobani
New York – The Nigerian Consulate in New York has said that applicants for Nigeria visa can now get it in 48 hours with the introduction of the issuance of the biometric visa.
The acting Consul-General, Tanko Suleiman, who disclosed this at the commencement of the biometric visa processing in New York, said the new process had simplified the issuance of Nigerian visa.
Tanko said with the commencement of the biometric visa issuance, no applicant should spend more than 25 minutes to complete his or her enrollment.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government on Monday commenced the biometric visa issuance, becoming the first country in Africa to achieve that feat.
The Nigerian envoy said the Federal Government has appointed Online Integrated Solutions Limited (OIS) as the company to handle the biometric visa project.
Suleiman appealed to applicants in the U.S. to be courteous and orderly as the new system would finally address any frustrations in obtaining the Nigerian visa.
“If you are given an appointment for 1 p.m., your appointment will last for only one hour maximum for that day; you can cancel the appointment if you know you can’t make it.
“However, if you come here an hour after, your appointment is completely cancelled. Therefore, you have to reapply because you are not the only applicant, there are other people.
“So once you cannot come within that one hour, you will now have to apply for another time,” Suleiman explained.
The Managing Director of OIS, Mr Abdul Momodu, said with the biometric system, there would be fairness in the visa application process as every applicant would now be approved on a case management system.
“That case management system can be reviewed in 10 years and it would be tied to the individual application as many times as he applies in the future.
“This further puts integrity into the system of applying for the Nigerian visa; there were two things that we put into play when we were developing this solution.”
According to him, one of the advantages of the new system is to simplify the visa application process and make it less cumbersome.
“First of all we want to keep people informed from their point of application to the point of collection.
“This is so that at every point in time, they are informed through emails and text messages of the status of their application.
“So once the application leaves our office to the Consulate, the applicant would receive a text message and email.
“Then once decision is made on the application, he or she will receive a notification and once it is back in our office and ready for collection, there will also be a notification.
“Be that as it may, we still have a tracking system on our website, in case for any reason, you have no access to your email.
“In this case, you can go on our website, put your passport number and your reference number and it will also be able to tell you the status of your application,” he said.