Nigerian citizens who are granted United States of America visa will, starting from Thursday, August 29, 2019, pay a non-refundable reciprocity fee in addition to their visa fee.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Public Affairs Section of the US Consulate General in Nigeria.
According to the statement, “The US law requires US visa fees and validity periods to be based on the treatment afforded to US citizens by foreign governments, insofar 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 nonimmigrant visa application is approved.”
The statement further noted that the total cost for a US citizen to obtain a visa to Nigeria is higher than the total cost for a Nigerian to obtain a comparable visa to the United States, adding “The new reciprocity fee for Nigerian citizens is meant to eliminate that cost difference.”
It added, “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. 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 consulate stated that the United States government had engaged the Nigerian government since 2018 to persuade the Nigerian government to change the fees charged to US citizens for certain visa categories.
It stated further, “After eighteen months of review and consultations, the government of Nigeria has not changed its fee structure for US 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 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 US Embassy or the US Consulate General. The reciprocity fee cannot be paid at banks or any other location.”
According to the statement, in addition to the visa fee paid, Nigerians issued a non-immigrant visa in R1 and R2 categories will pay $80, those with B1, B2, B1/B2, F1, and F2 categories will pay $110. Those with HIB and H4 categories will pay $180, those in I category will pay $210, while those in L1 and L2 categories will pay $303.