Nigerian government has reduced the cost of visa application for US citizens.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbosola, directed that the fee be decreased to USD 150 with effect from Thursday, 29th August 2019.
This is coming hours after the United States ordered an increase in the cost of visa application for Nigerians blaming the Nigerian government.
It explained that it was “reciprocating” the extra visa fee the Nigerian government charges American citizens.
Recall that the U.S Embassy, Abuja said on Tuesday that Nigerian Citizens worldwide would be required to pay a Visa Issuance Fee, also known as Reciprocity Fee, for all approved non-migrant visas beginning on Thursday, Aug. 29.
The embassy, which made this known in a statement, said that the new reciprocity fee ranged from 80 dollars to 303 dollars and would apply to non-migrant visas in the B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications.
The embassy clarified that Nigerian citizens whose application for non-migrant visas were denied would not be charged the new reciprocity fee.
It further explained that both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification.
The reciprocity fee based on visa classification is highlighted thus: B1- 110 dollars, B2-110 dollars, B1/B2- 110 dollars, F1- 110 dollars, F2-110 dollars, H1B-180 dollars, and H4-180 dollars.
Other classifications include I- 210 dollars, L1-303 dollars, L2-303 dollars, R1-80 dollars, R2- 80 dollars.
The U.S. Embassy adopts the rate of N370/$1 for Nigerians which is higher than both the official rate and the black market rate.
NAN reports that the U.S. had earlier complained that its citizens were paying too much to secure Nigerian visas.
Before the introduction of the reciprocity fee, U.S. citizens paid 180 dollars to secure Nigerian visas.
The U.S. diplomatic office said: “U.S. law requires U.S. visa fees and validity periods to be based on the treatment afforded to U.S. citizens by foreign governments, so far as possible.
“Visa issuance fees are implemented under the principle of reciprocity: when a foreign government imposes additional visa fees on U.S. citizens, the U.S. will impose reciprocal fees on citizens of that country for similar types of visas.
“Nationals of a number of countries worldwide are currently required to pay this type of fee after their non-immigrant visa application is approved.
“The total cost for a U.S. citizen to obtain a visa to Nigeria is currently higher than the total cost for a Nigerian to obtain a comparable visa to the U.S.
The embassy said that since early 2018, the U.S. government had engaged the Nigerian government to request that it changed the fees charged to U.S. citizens for certain visa categories.
According to the embassy, after 18 months’ review and consultations, the Nigerian has not changed its fee structure for U.S. citizen visa applicants.
The embassy emphasised that the reciprocity fee for non-immigrant visa to the U.S. would affect all Nigerian citizens worldwide, regardless of where they would be applying from.
Both adults and minors whose visa applications are approved will be charged the reciprocity fee.
The reciprocity fee can only be paid at the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate General, meaning that the fee cannot be paid at banks or any other location.
“The reciprocity tables displayed on travel.state.gov will be updated to reflect the changes above.
“For full details on the implementation of reciprocity fees for Nigerian visas, please visit our websites: https://ng.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/ and http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng,” the embassy stated.