US removes visa reciprocity fee for Nigerians
The United States has removed the reciprocity fee imposed on visa applications for Nigerians.
Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Ferdinand Nwonye in a statement on Friday said the reciprocity fee removal took effect from December 3.
“The ministry of foreign affairs wishes to inform that the United States government has removed all visa reciprocity fees for Nigerian citizens seeking visas to the United States,” Nwonye said.
“The positive development is in line with the removal of excess visa application, processing and biometric fees for United States citizens applying for Nigerian visas by the Nigerian government,” he added.
United States in August 2019 ordered an increase in the cost of visa application for Nigerians.
It explained that it was “reciprocating” the extra visa fee the Nigerian government charges American citizens.
“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,” US Embassy said.
“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,” it added.
The US embassy, however, said it took the decision in accordance with Section 281 of its Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and following almost two years of failed negotiations with the Nigerian government, through the Foreign Affairs and Interior ministries.
It noted that until Nigeria government requests for the reduction in visa fee, “the reciprocity fees for approved visas to the United States will remain in place.”
Hours after the hike in the visa application fee, the Nigerian government yielded to the US demands and reduced its visa application fee.
“The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, has been directed to implement the decrease in Nigeria’s Visa charges to US Citizens to USD 150 with effect from Thursday, 29th August 2019,” spokesman to Rauf Aregbesola- Nigeria interior minister, Mohammed Manga said in a statement.