Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The United States has increased the cost of visa application for Nigerians. The US Consulate, which made the announcement in a statement, explained that it was “reciprocating” the extra visa fee the Federal Government charges American citizens.
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.
It 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 Federal Gvernment change the fees charged to U.S. citizens for certain visa categories.
The United States added that after 18 months of review and consultations, the Federal 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 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 U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate General. The reciprocity fee cannot be paid at banks or any other location.”
The consulate explained that the extra cost will be applicable to only those whose visa requests were granted.