Update: US embassy denies alleged refusal to renew Bishop Oyedepo's visa

Update: US embassy denies alleged refusal to renew Bishop Oyedepo's visa

- The US embassy has dismissed the report claiming Popular Nigerian pastor, Bishop Oyedepo, was denied a visa on Thursday, January 30

- The embassy in a tweet posted on Friday, January 31, described the reports as false news

- ThisDay had reported that the man of God was denied visa renewal without any specific reason

The viral media report that Bishop David Oyedepo was on Thursday, January 31, denied US visa renewal has been dismissed by the US embassy.

The embassy, through its official Twitter handle, debunked the reports, branding it as false news.

"#FalseNews Alert! Be advised, the reports making the rounds about a visa being denied to Nigerian Bishop Oyedepo are false.

If you have seen this manufactured item in the media, help defeat this #misinformation by communicating to everyone that it is completely false," it said.

The earlier report by ThisDay newspaper had claimed the revered cleric who is the founder of the popular Faith Tabernacle was purportedly denied a visa at the Lagos office of the embassy of the US.

The newspaper claimed that the outspoken man of God allegedly created a scene as he demanded to know the reason behind the development.

It added that the embassy gave no specific reason for the denial as it only said in its assessment that the cleric did not qualify for visa renewal, adding that the popular cleric who is also a staunch critic of the Nigerian government was merely urged to try his luck again.

The US embassy, has, however, officially dismissed the report as false news, sharing a screenshot of the newspaper's web page.

US embassy reportedly denies Bishop Oyedepo visa

Bishop Oyedepo reportedly denied US visa. Photo credit: RCC Restoration for All
Source: UGC

Meanwhile, being denied the US visa is what many Nigerians experience on a daily basis. The painful stories of US visa denials are everywhere on social media.

The purported story of Bishop Oyedepo's visa denial only made news because it is strange and unusual to see prominent Nigerians such as the respected man of God passing through such experience at the US embassy.

Since his assumption of office in 2016, the US president, Donald Trump, has been tightening the restrictions around the country's visa applications.

Just recently, the US said it will no longer issue visas to foreigners who want to give birth in the country.

Trump's administration on Thursday, January, 23, disclosed that the new visa rules are aimed at restricting women from travelling to the US to give birth so their children can have a coveted US passport.

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Similarly, a report by the Wall Street Journal indicates that the US government plans to add seven countries to a group of nations subject to travel restrictions, including Nigeria.

Other countries on the list are Tanzania, Eritrea, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Sudan.

According to the report, the countries wouldn’t necessarily face blanket bans on travel to the US but could have restrictions placed on specific types of visas, such as business or visitor visas.

The Nigerian government has, however, reacted to the reported plan by the US to ban Nigerians from accessing its visa.

Speaking in London during an interview session with Reuters on Monday, January 27, the minister of information, culture and tourism, Lai Mohammed, said the speculated ban by the US is ill-conceived.

Mohammed said although the report is still a speculation, however, if it turns out to be true, the Nigerian government will respond comprehensively.

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