The United States Embassy in Nigeria has announced that it will now charge Nigerians an additional fee for the issuance of its visa.
According to a statement released on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, the payment of the visa issuance fee, or reciprocity fee, will take effect worldwide on August 29.
The reciprocity fee will be required for all Nigerian citizens worldwide, regardless of where they are applying for a non-immigrant visa to the U.S.
Only Nigerians whose applications for non-immigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications have been granted will be required to pay the additional fee on top of the fee paid to get a visa interview.
The reciprocity fees to be paid for each visa classification is as follows: B1 ($110), B2 ($110), B1/B2 ($110), F1 ($110), F2 ($110), H1B ($180), H4 ($180), I ($210), L1 ($303), L2 ($303), R1 ($80) and R2 ($80).
Nigerians whose visa applications are denied will not be required to pay the fee.
“Both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification. 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 embassy said.
Unlike the initial fee to get an interview, the reciprocity fee can only be paid at the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate General, and not at banks.
Explaining the reason for the new fee, the embassy said U.S. citizens currently obtain Nigerian visas at a higher cost compared to Nigerians obtaining a comparable visa to the U.S.
Therefore, the new reciprocity fee for Nigerian citizens is meant to eliminate that 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 embassy said.
The embassy said the Nigerian government failed to heed its pleas for 18 months to change the fees charged to U.S. citizens for certain visa categories.
In May, the embassy indefinitely suspended the visa interview waiver for Nigerians renewing visas in the country.
Before the suspension, Nigerian holders of US visa types B1/B2, F, H, and L could renew their visas online by processing it through DHL using one of several dropbox locations across Nigeria without attending physical interviews.