The federal government announced on Saturday that the United States has removed all visa reciprocity fees for Nigerians seeking visas to the country with effect from December 3.
Disclosing this at the weekend, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the development was sequel to the removal of excess visa application, processing and biometric fees for American citizens applying for Nigerian visas.
It would be recalled that the Donald Trump administration had in 2019 imposed the reciprocity fee for all approved non-immigrant visa applications by Nigerians.
The fee was charged in addition to visa application fees for only applicants who are issued visas.
The additional reciprocity fees which ranged from $80 to $303 depending on the class of visa, took effect from August 29 last year. The US Embassy in Nigeria said the reciprocity fees were in response to unsuccessful talks with Nigeria to adjust the fees it charges American applicants. It argued that the total cost for a US citizen to obtain a visa to Nigeria was higher than the total cost for a Nigerian to obtain a comparable visa to the United States.
The Mission insisted that the reciprocity fee was meant to eliminate the cost difference as required by US laws. Announcing the removal of the reciprocity fee in a statement, the MFA spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonye, said, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that the United States Government has removed all visa reciprocity fees for Nigerian citizens seeking visas to the United States. “The positive development is in line with the removal of excess visa application, processing and biometric fees for United States citizens applying for Nigerian visas by the Nigerian Government.
“The United States Government has, therefore, eliminated reciprocity fees for Nigerian citizens with effect from December 3, 2020.” The statement titled, ‘Update on removal of visa fees for Nigerian citizens by the US Government,’ advised prospective travellers to the US to visit www.travel.state.gov for details.”
Credit: The Nation