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US to now charge reciprocity fee on approved visa applications

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The United States Embassy in Nigeria Tuesday announced that Nigerians will be charged nonrefundable reciprocity fee or visa issuance fee in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee from August 29.

“Effective worldwide on 29 August, Nigerian citizens will be required to pay a visa issuance fee, or reciprocity fee, for all approved applications for nonimmigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications,” US embassy in Nigerian said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application.”

The embassy said the new reciprocity fee for Nigerian citizens is meant to eliminate the cost difference for its citizens and Nigerians.

“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.”

It said the U.S. government since 2018 has requested that the Nigerian government to change the fees charged to U.S. citizens for certain visa categories but all was to avail.

“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.”

The US embassy said that the reciprocity charges will be implemented on all Nigerians nationwide as long as they are applying for the US nonimmigrant visa.

It said the fee will be 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 embassy also said Nigerian citizens whose applications for a nonimmigrant 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.”

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.


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