The US embassy in Abuja has reportedly denied a visa to Igho Otegheri, the husband to Nigerian Athlete Blessing Okagbare with which the newly married couple had planned to travel to the US on honeymoon and to begin their married life.
Blessing Okagbare is an African Champion and holds several records in track and she is based in Los Angeles California, USA where she had hoped she would be joined by new husband after their marriage so they could start building their family.
After the US embassy refused to grant visa to Igho, Blessing is understandably very unhappy and confused, telling Vanguard;
"I feel so bad that America Embassy would turn down the visa request by my husband to travel with me to Los Angeles. I have resumed training for the season and I have to go back to my base with my husband so that I can concentrate.
“I have sent copies of my documents, including my Resident Permit in Los Angeles to them so as to facilitate my husband’s traveling with me to the States, but they refused.
"Help me appeal to them to grant him visa because it won’t be easy for me to shuttle between Nigeria and the States every time.
“I have to concentrate on my training and the only way to do so is to have my husband with me in the States. I have been so sad since my husband returned from Abuja with this bad news. They have to do something about it."
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I can understand how and why this is so upsetting to Blessing at this time, but I doubt this is a fight that can be won via the media. I could be wrong however, as she is a well known public figure
However, the best way to handle denied visas, speaking from personal experience, is to reapply. Find out exactly why your application was denied in the first place and then submit all the necessary documentation again, this time with a strongly worded addedum explaining why you believe the visa was wrongly denied.
I don't know what Visa Blessing herself is on, my guess is it is a non-immigrant visa like Student Visa, or H-Visa, or whather she is a citizen of the US. But the truth is that whichever it is, it is never easy to get a spouse visa in the US. Some are lucky, especially the women, the men not so much.
The question the American Embassy might be asking is, does her husband not have his own career? What would he be doing in the US, become his wife's dependent. Even the embassy officials know this is not the usual way for Africans so they are understandably wary.
I wish the new couple all the best. And to Blessing, stop crying and enjoy your honeymoon regardless.