The Nigerian Government has reduced its visa application charges for citizens of the United States from $180 to $160.
According to NAN reports, the previous amount comprised $160 as visa fee and $20 as “processing and expedient fees”.
According to Mr. Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, the reduction followed a review of the US’ visa reciprocity policy for Nigeria.
The Comptroller-General stated this in a memo dated 5th February, 2020. marked NIS/HQ/CGI/806/7 and addressed to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In August 2019, the United States Government imposed additional visa fees on Nigerians in retaliation for the “treatment afforded to US citizens” by the Nigerian Government.
The policy required successful applicants for nonimmigrant US visas in the B, F, H1B, I, L, and R categories to pay between $80 and $303 as reciprocity fees. This is in addition to the normal visa application fees of between $160 and $190.
The total cost for a United State 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 US Embassy said in a statement on its website then.
In his letter, the Nigeria Immigration Service advise all Nigerian missions in the United State to immediately implement the new visa charges payable by United State citizens, and “discontinue charging processing or expedient fees. Our Missions are to issue up to two years multiple entry visa to frequent short visit travelers on request in line with reciprocity.
senior official of the Nigerian Consulate in New York, told NAN that
the “processing and expedient fees” of $20 was for online application
and payment services rendered by a private firm.
Babandede’s letter came a day after the President Muhammadu Buhari launched the Nigeria Visa Policy 2020 which, among others, increased the country’s visa classes from six to 79.