- US Visa: United States Imposes Reciprocity Fees on Nigerians
The United States has issued a notice of reciprocity fees payment on any Nigerian interested in visiting the country, effective from August 29.
This is coming less than a week after the arrests of 80 Nigerians over fraud allegations.
The notice was announced on Tuesday in a statement released by the US Mission in Nigeria. The US government said that the reciprocity fee or visa issuance fee will be imposed on all approved applications for non-immigrant visas in the B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classification and that it will be an additional charge from the regular ‘non-immigrant visa application fee’, or MRV fee.
The US Mission in Nigeria further revealed that the fee is binding on all Nigerians Worldwide; irrespective of where the application is made or how old they are; adding that all fees must be channeled to the US Embassy or US Consulate General and that the reciprocity fees must not be paid into any bank.
The government also revealed the complete reciprocity fees schedule, according to the category of visa: B1- $110, B2-$110, B2/B2-$110, while F1-$110, F2-$110, H1B-$180, H4-$180, I-$210, L1-$303, L2-$303, R1-$80, and R2-$80.
The government however clarified that the reciprocity fees only applies to Nigerians whose applications have been approved and that Nigerians with declined applications have nothing to do with its payment. The US government also emphasize that all reciprocities fees must be channelled to the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consular General, and that the fees must not be paid into any bank.
“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 non-immigrant visa application is approved.
“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,” the statement read.
The United States government also revealed in the statement that the Nigerian government has failed to review fees on different visa categories of US citizens despite calls by the US government to change it. It added that its recent action on reciprocity fees is a reaction to this fact and is in line with its visa laws.