The development is coming after an announcement by the US Government on Tuesday, 27th August 2019, that Nigerians applying for US visas will be required to pay a visa issuance fee, or reciprocity fee, with effect from August 29.
The US Embassy blamed the Nigerian government for the increased visa issuance fee which was done based on the principle of reciprocity meant to eliminate the cost difference U.S. citizens pay to obtain Nigerian visas.
“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,” says the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy.
“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 will be required for all Nigerian citizens worldwide, regardless of where they are applying for a non-immigrant visa to the United States.
Following the development, the Nigerian government approved a reduction in visa charges payable by United States citizens from $180 to $150.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, 28th August 2019, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, explained the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, had been directed to implement the decrease in the visa charges with effect from Thursday.
“The attention of the Ministry of Interior has been drawn to the introduction of reciprocity of visa fees by the United States of America. The ministry acknowledges that there were engagements with the United States Embassy on the issue and in the aftermath, a committee was set up to conduct due diligence in line with the ministry’s extant policy on reciprocity of visa fees,” Aregbesola said.
“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.
“The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has approved the decrease of visa charges payable by U.S. citizens in line with reciprocity policy as recommended by the committee.
“Accordingly, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, has been directed to implement the decrease in Nigeria’s visa charges to U.S. citizens with effect from August, 29, 2019.”
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