WHY NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT REDUCED US VISA COST

WHY NIGERIA GOVERNMENT REDUCED US VISA COST

The federal government has announced a reduction in the amount payable by citizens of the United States of America seeking Nigerian visas.

This comes 24 hours after the US authorities increased the cost of visa application for Nigerians under a “tit for tat policy”.

In a statement, the US consulate in Nigeria had said America was reciprocating the extra visa fee the Nigerian government charges its citizens.

In a release on the U.S. Embassy Nigeria facebook account, the US embassy made this known:

"REVISED VISA RECIPROCITY SCHEDULE FOR NIGERIA. 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.

"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 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 U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate General. The reciprocity fee cannot be paid at banks or any other location."

The consulate had explained that the extra cost would be applicable to only those whose visa requests were granted.

It had said while America charges Nigerians $160  for visa application, its citizens seeking Nigerian visa were paying $110 extra.

But in a statement on Wednesday, Mohammed Manga, spokesman of the ministry of interior, announced that the visa fee of Americans had been reduced.

He said Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, had directed that US citizens should pay $160 for visa application with effect from Thursday.

“The attention of the Ministry of Interior has been drawn to the introduction of reciprocity of Visa Fees by the United States of America. The Ministry acknowledges that there were engagements with the United States Embassy on the issue and in the aftermath, a Committee was set up to conduct due diligence in line with the Ministry’s extant policy on reciprocity of Visa fees,” the statement read.

“The Committee had concluded its assignment and submitted a Report but the issuance of authorisation for its recommendations was delayed due to transition processes in the Ministry at the policy level.

“The Honourable Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has approved the decrease of Visa charges payable by US citizens in line with reciprocity policy as recommended by the Committee.

“Accordingly, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, has been directed to implement the decrease in Nigeria’s Visa charges to US Citizens with effect from Thursday, 29th August, 2019.”

Credit: US Embassy, Cable

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