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Nigeria Lowers Visa Fees for US Citizens

Nigeria on Wednesday announced it is lowering the fee paid by US citizens to obtain a visa. The decision is in line with the government’s reciprocity policy following a recommendation by a committee.

American citizens will now pay $160 (about 58,000 Nigerian Naira) with effect from August 29 down from $180 (about 65,340 Nigerian Naira).

The announcement comes a day after the US Embassy announced that Nigerian citizens globally will be required to pay a visa issuance fee, or reciprocity fee, for all approvedapplications for nonimmigrant visas in certain visa classifications.

The US government installed the reciprocity fee after Nigeria failed to change its fee structure for US citizen visa applicants despite engagements on the same since early last year.

The embassy said that the reciprocity fee was to be charged in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee, or Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application.

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“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 new reciprocity fee for Nigerian citizens is meant to eliminate that cost difference,” a statement on the US Embassy website read in part.

Nigerian citizens whose applications for a nonimmigrant visa are denied will not be charged the new reciprocity fee.

“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,” the US Embassy added.

A committee was set up by the Interior ministry to assess its existing policy on the reciprocity of visa fees following meetings with the US embassy on the issue.

The ministry, however, said that the authorization for the recommendations in the final report was delayed due to a transition process in the ministry at the policy level.

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Written by How Africa

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