On Tuesday, 14 May 2019, the United States Mission (The Mission) in Nigeria announced the immediate suspension of the interview waivers option popularly referred to as the “Dropbox” application for applicants intending to renew their United States (US) visa, until further notice.
The Dropbox application is an initiative that hitherto enabled applicants renew their US visa without appearing at either the US Embassy in Abuja (the Embassy) or US Consulate General in Lagos (the Consulate) for interview.
With the suspension of the Dropbox, applicants are now required to schedule appointments and attend the regular interview with the Mission before their renewal application is received, reviewed and processed. The suspension is not retroactive as applicants that have already submitted their applications and passports to the Mission prior to 14 May 2019 would not be affected by this change.
Those who have completed their Dropbox application online and are yet to submit their documentation to the Mission will be affected by the suspension and are thus expected to schedule interview with their MRV Receipt number. The suspension, according to the Mission, is predicated on the necessity for a more robust and efficient customer service delivery as well as promotion of legitimate travels. The implication of the suspension is that a traveller to USA whose visa requires renewal would plan ahead to accommodate the time required to be physically present for the interview session. Indeed, applicants may face difficulties with the recent change.