The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has announced the review of visa fees payable by United States citizens by 11% from $180 (N55,260) to $160 (N49,120).
A statement signed by Mohammed Manga, stated the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIC), Muhammad Babandede, had been directed to implement reduction with effect from Thursday, August 29, 2019.
“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.” – Manga
This is coming a day after Nairametrics reported that the US Government announced that Nigerians will be required to pay visa issuance fees or reciprocity fees from today. This will be charged alongside the non-immigrant visa application fee which all applicants pay at the time of application.
The US Government also claimed that they had engaged the Nigerian Government on the cost of visa issuance to its citizen since early 2018.
“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.”
This means Nigerian applicants going for tourism, study and business visas will be required to pay an extra $110 (N33,770) for the visa issuance fee. Applicants going for the L1 Visa (work permit) will pay an extra $303 (N93,021) if given visas, while those applying for H4 Visa (dependency/spousal) will pay $180 (N55,260) fee.
The statement said a committee had been set up to conduct due diligence in line with the extant policy on the reciprocity of visa fees and had earlier engaged the US Embassy in Nigeria. The ministry further claimed that the delay in the implementation of recommendations was as a result of “transition processes in the ministry at the policy level”.
“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”.
Bottom line: With this reduction in visa fees payable by US citizens by the Federal Government, the US Government will make a U-turn on its earlier announced reciprocity fees.