U.S increases tourism visa cost for Nigerians
Effective from Thursday, August 29, 2019, Nigerians applying for tourism, student and business visas will not only pay the N59, 200 fee but will have to pay an extra $110 (N40, 700) after the visa has been issued to them bringing the total cost to N99, 900, the United States Embassy in Nigeria has announced.
However, applicants who are denied visas would not need to pay the extra N40, 700.
Applicants seeking the L1 Visa (work permit) will pay an extra N112, 100 if given visas while those applying for H4 Visa (dependency/spousal) will pay an extra N66, 600.
The US Embassy adopts the rate of N370/$1 for Nigerians which is higher than both the official rate and the black market rate.
The US Consulate announced this in a statement issued on Thursday, explaining that it was “reciprocating” the extra visa fee the Nigerian government charges American citizens.
According to the statement, Nigerians will be required to pay a fee called visa ‘issuance fee’, or ‘reciprocity fee’, for all applications for non immigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications.
The issuance/reciprocity fee is different from the application fees as this will be charged in addition to the non immigrant visa application fee.
The fees, however, are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification.
“The reciprocity fee will be required for all Nigerian citizens worldwide, regardless of where they are applying for a non immigrant visa to the United States”.
“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 statement read in part”.
Under this new policy, Nigerian citizens whose applications for a non immigrant visa are denied will not be charged the new reciprocity fee.
The new fees take effect from August 29, 2019.
“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”.