US Embassy Increases Visa Costs To N99,900 For Nigerians In Retaliation Against FG

While countries like South Africa are giving visa waivers to Ghana and other countries, the United States Embassy in Nigeria, in increasing the cost for visa applications for BelowNigerians.  

From Thursday, August 29, 2019, Nigerians who are applying for tourism, student and business visas will now pay a total cost of N99,900, which covers visa fee of N59, 200 fee and an extra N40, 700, after the visa has been issued to them. The extra N40,700 is only applicable for those who are granted visa, those whose applications are denied are not expected to pay it.

Applicants seeking the L1 Visa (work permit) will pay an extra N112, 100 if given visas, while those applying for H4 Visa (dependency/spousal) will pay an extra N66, 600. This high cost is because the US Embassy is using a rate of N370/$1 for Nigerians, which is higher than both the official rate and the black market rate.

This new increment is absurd because there have been controversies surrounding the alleged rip off by the US Embassy where they are said to deliberately deny Nigerians visas, after they have paid the fess. However, ds of Nigerian visa applicants that they had not been able to secure US visa appointment dates despite making payments for visas. The embassy thus replied to the increment, saying that it was simply reciprocating the gesture of the Nigerian government towards Americans, who were paying too much to secure Nigerian visas.

The US Embassy said it had been discussing with the Nigerian government to reduce the visa fee for Americans to no avail. Hence their reactions as well, by firstly cancelling the drop box system for Nigerian visa applicants, insisting on fresh interviews for every applicant despite travel history, and now hiking the visa application fees.

The statement read in part, “Effective worldwide on August 29, Nigerian citizens will be required to pay a visa issuance fee, or reciprocity fee, for all approved applications for non-immigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications.

“The reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the non-immigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application.  Nigerian citizens whose applications for a non-immigrant 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.

“US law requires US visa fees and validity periods to be based on the treatment afforded to US 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 US 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 US 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.

“Since early 2018, the US government has engaged the Nigerian government to request that the Nigerian government change the fees charged to US citizens for certain visa categories.  After 18 months of review and consultations, the government of Nigeria has not changed its fee structure for U.S. citizen visa applicants, requiring the US Department of State to enact new reciprocity fees in accordance with our 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 US Embassy or the US Consulate General.  The reciprocity fee cannot be paid at banks or any other location. And its applicable to both adults and minors, whose visa applications are approved.”

Below are the complete reciprocity fee schedule:

1. B1 – $110

2. B2 – $110

3. B1/B2- $110

4. F1 – $110

5. F2 – $110

6. H1B – $180

7. H4 – $180

8. I – $210

9. L1 – $303

10. L2 – $303

11. R1 – $80

12. R2 – $80

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