The United States has decided to reciprocate Nigeria’s imposition of extra visa fee and made an increase in visa application for Nigerians.
The US Consulate announced on Thursday, explaining that it was “reciprocating” the extra visa fee the Nigerian government charges American citizens.
According to the U.S, Nigerians will be required to pay a fee called visa ‘issuance fee’, or ‘reciprocity fee’, for all applications for nonimmigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications.
The issuance/reciprocity fee is different from the application fees as this will be charged in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee.
The fees, however, are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification.
“The reciprocity fee will be required for all Nigerian citizens worldwide, regardless of where they are applying for a nonimmigrant visa to the United States.
“The reciprocity fee is required for each visa that is issued, which means both adults and minors whose visa applications are approved will be charged the reciprocity fee.
“The fee can only be paid at the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate General. The reciprocity fee cannot be paid at banks or any other location,” the Consulate state on Thursday in Abuja.
Under this new policy, Nigerian citizens whose applications for a nonimmigrant visa are denied will not be charged the new reciprocity fee.
The new fees take effect from August 29, 2019.
Blaming its decision on the Nigerian government, the US Consulate added that the US government had earlier in 2018 engaged the Nigerian government to change the fees charged US citizens for Nigeria visa.
“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 United States. The new reciprocity fee for Nigerian citizens is meant to eliminate that cost difference.
“Since early 2018, the U.S. government has engaged the Nigerian government to request that the Nigerian government change the fees charged to U.S. citizens for certain visa categories.
“After eighteen months of review and consultations, the government of Nigeria has not changed its fee structure for U.S. citizen visa applicants, requiring the U.S. Department of State to enact new reciprocity fees in accordance with our visa laws.’’