The United States of America has imposed a new visa fee, called reciprocity fee, on Nigerians applying for visas to the country effective August 29.
The new fee, called reciprocity fee, shall be applied only to those who are successful in their visa application.
The reciprocity fee shall be paid in addition to the non-immigrant Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee.
MRV fee is charged for all US visa applications regardless of the outcome of such applications.
The reciprocity fee is applicable to all approved applications for nonimmigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications.
Both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and the amounts paid vary based on visa classification.
Justifying the reciprocity fees, the US Government explains on its website that the current fees paid by US citizens for Nigeria visa is higher than what Nigerians are currently paying for US visas.
The reciprocity fee therefore is to eliminate the cost difference.
The statement reads in part:
“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 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.
“Since early 2018, the U.S. government has engaged the Nigerian government to request that the Nigerian government change the fees charged to U.S. citizens for certain visa categories. After eighteen months of review and consultations, the government of Nigeria has not changed its fee structure for U.S. citizen visa applicants, requiring the U.S. Department of State to enact new reciprocity fees in accordance with our visa laws.”
The reciprocity fee shall be paid by all Nigeria citizens regardless of the location they are applying for the visa.
Furthermore, the fee shall be paid at US Embassy or Consulate General and cannot be paid at banks.
“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.”