In a statement made available to Business Insider SSA on Tuesday, August 27th, the U.S government said the new reciprocity fee for Nigerian citizens is meant to eliminate that cost difference.
“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.
“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 statement added.
Why is the U.S doing this
According to international treaties, the principle of reciprocity applies to either favour or penalty among countries. This is the law backing U.S actions against Nigerian government.
“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 U.S embassy said.
The U.S. government said it has engaged the Nigerian government to request that the Nigerian government change the fees charged to U.S. citizens for certain visa categories.
“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.”
For Nigerian citizens all over the world, the cost of getting certain visas will be reviewed upward to commensurate with the cost U.S citizens pay for same in Nigerian embassies.
“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 class of visa affected by this review includes B1, B2, F1, F2, and others.