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Firms unaware of US visa ban

16 September 2013, 10:00Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - Several Nigerian schemes are still luring locals to apply for the yearly United States Diversity Lottery programme despite the Nigerians’ blacklisting from the promotion.

The USA recently barred citizens from Nigeria and 18 other countries from participating in the yearly exercise because the number of citizens from the country who have immigrated to the US through the lottery programme had exceeded the 50 000 maximum mark.

According to a statement by the US government, other countries not eligible for the Visa programes are: Bangladesh, Brazil, and Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador and Haiti.

Others are India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

Despite the ban, CAJ News findings revealed that several small business firm that help interested applicants were still asking uninformed persons to apply for the 2015 programme.

On the streets of Lagos, posters and advert are displayed calling on interested citizens to apply for the programme.

A fee of about N5 000 ($30) is charged for  assisting interested applicants buy the lottery registration firms while a successful applicant would be required to pay unspecified amount as commission.

An employee of one of the firm that engages in the business located at Ikeja, Jude Okonma, told CAJ News he was unaware that Nigerians were no longer eligible for the visa lottery programme.

"I am not aware that Nigerians no longer qualify for the Visa lottery programme. Since last week, customers have been coming here to make inquiries about the amount and when they can start registration"

Despite Nigeria's exclusion, many African countries would continue to enjoy the programme. Some of them are Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia and Ghana.

Others are Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles and Sierra Leone.

- CAJ News

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