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Visa fee: US Government Adopts Reciprocity Approach For Nigerian Applicants

Valentine Chinyem

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Sequel to the Federal Government’s attitude towards a request from the United States on fees charged to its citizens for certain visa categories, the United States Government has taken a reciprocity approach on visa fee for Nigerians.

According to the United States, the decision was taken after 18 months of engagement with the Nigerian Government beginning from early 2018 that the cost for certain visa categories be changed.
The United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, in a statement made available to Daily Sun in Abuja, said effective worldwide on 29 August, Nigerian citizens will be required to pay a visa issuance fee, or reciprocity fee, for all approved applications for non-immigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications.

The United States added that 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.

It further said Nigerian citizens whose applications for a nonimmigrant visa are denied will not be charged the new reciprocity fee.
The United States also said both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification.

The United States noted that 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 United States further said the new reciprocity fee for Nigerian citizens is meant to eliminate the cost difference.

“U.S. law requires U.S. visa fees and validity periods to be based on the treatment afforded to U.S. 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 U.S. 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 United States said.
The United States further said since early 2018, it engaged the Nigerian government to request that the Nigerian government change the fees charged to U.S. citizens for certain visa categories.

The United States added that after eighteen months of review and consultations, the Nigerian Government did not change its fee structure for U.S. citizen visa applicants, which required the U.S. Department of State to enact new reciprocity fees in accordance with its 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 U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate General. The reciprocity fee cannot be paid at banks or any other location.

“The complete reciprocity fee schedule, organized by visa classification, can be found below.
Class Reciprocity Fee
B1 $110
B2 $110
B1/B2 $110
F1
F2 $110
$110
H1B
H4 $180
$180
I $210
L1
L2 $303
$303
R1
R2 $80
$80