US Retaliates, Nigerians To Pay N99, 900 For Tourism Visa

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The United States Embassy in Nigeria has said in a statement that Nigerians will be required to pay a reciprocity fee, aside from the non-refundable visa fee for all approved applications for non-immigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications effective worldwide from August 29, 2019.

In a statement the Embassy said that Nigerians applying for tourism, student and business visas will have to pay an extra $110 (N40, 700) in addition to the N59, 200 initial non-refundable visa fee paid by applicants, thus; bringing the total cost to N99, 900 adding that this payment is only applicable after the visa has been issued to any applicant seeking visa into the United States of America whilethose  denied visas would not need to pay the extra N40, 700.

However, Applicants seeking the L1 Visa (work permit) will pay an extra N112, 100 if given visas while those applying for H4 Visa (dependency/spousal) will pay an extra N66, 600. The Embassy adopts officially a dollar rate of N370/$1 which is higher than both the official rate and the black market rate for all its visa application transactions for Nigerians. See below for the complete reciprocity fee schedule by visa class;

Class of Visa B1 B2 B1/B2 F1 F2 H1B H4 I L1 L2 R1 R2
Reciprocity Fee $110 $110 $110 $110 $110 $180 $180 $210 $303 $303 $80 $80

The embassy said in a statement that the increment was done based on reciprocity, saying that Americans pay too much to secure Nigerian visas and have been appealing to the Federal Government of Nigeria to reduce the fee but it has been to no avail, which brought about the US government’s decision to retaliate.

The  which took effect four months after the cancellation of the US drop box system for Nigerians visa applicants which usually allow Nigerians with travel history to the US to apply for visas without going for interviews at the embassy.

The statement reads in part; “The reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the non-immigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application.  Nigerian citizens whose applications for a non-immigrant visa are denied will not be charged the new reciprocity fee. Both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification.

“US law requires US visa fees and validity periods to be based on the treatment afforded to US citizens by foreign governments, in so far as possible.  Visa issuance fees are implemented under the principle of reciprocity: when a foreign government imposes additional visa fees on US citizens, the United States 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 US 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 US government has engaged the Nigerian government to request that the Nigerian government change the fees charged to US citizens for certain visa categories.  After 18 months of review and consultations, the government of Nigeria has not changed its fee structure for U.S. citizen visa applicants, requiring the US Department of State to enact new reciprocity fees in accordance with our visa laws.

“The reciprocity fee will be required for all Nigerian citizens worldwide, regardless of where they are applying for a non-immigrant 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 US Embassy or the US Consulate General.  The reciprocity fee cannot be paid at banks or any other location.”

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