The Nigerian Government has reduced the amount payable by citizens of the United States seeking visas into the country.
This was disclosed in a statement released by Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The statement reads:
“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 the reciprocity of visa fees… Accordingly, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, has been directed to implement the decrease in Nigeria’s visa charges to US citizens with effect from Thursday, August 29, 2019.”
The Federal Government has approved a reduction in visa charges payable by United States citizens from $180 to $150.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, explained on Wednesday, that the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, had been directed to implement the decrease in the visa charges with effect from Thursday.
The development was a sequel to the new visa regime announced by the US Government on Tuesday, stating that Nigerians applying for US visas will be required to pay a visa issuance fee, or reciprocity fee, with effect from August 29.
The US Mission in Abuja had said that the reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee, also known as the Machine Readable Visa fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application.
It explained that the reciprocity fee was applicable to all approved applications for nonimmigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications, noting that Nigerian citizens whose applications for a nonimmigrant visa were denied would, however, not be charged the new reciprocity fee.
The Mission explained that both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification.
But the ministry in a statement by its spokesman, Mohammed Manga, said a committee set up to conduct due diligence in line with the ministry’s extant policy on reciprocity of visa fees had earlier engaged with the US embassy on the issue, adding that the implementation of its recommendations was delayed due to “transition processes in the ministry at the policy level.” .
It said, “The committee had concluded its assignment and submitted a report, but the issuance of authorization for its recommendations was delayed due to transition processes in the ministry at the policy level.
“The 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.