The United States (US) on Tuesday disclosed that Nigerians will be paying more for American visa applications, Concise News reports.
The US Consulate explained that the increased cost was “reciprocating” the extra visa fee the Nigerian government charges American citizens.
It said in a statement that the extra cost will be applicable to only those whose visa requests were granted.
It explained that the US law required that visa fees and validity periods are to be based on the treatment afforded to US citizens by foreign governments.
The statement read: “Effective worldwide on 29 August, Nigerian citizens will be required to pay a visa issuance fee, or reciprocity fee, for all approved applications for non-immigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications.
“The reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the non-immigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application. Nigerian citizens whose applications for a non-immigrant visa are denied will not be charged the new reciprocity fee.
“Both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification.
“Visa issuance fees are implemented under the principle of reciprocity: when a foreign government imposes additional visa fees on U.S. citizens, the United States will impose reciprocal fees on citizens of that country for similar types of visas.
“Nationals of a number of countries worldwide are currently required to pay this type of fee after their nonimmigrant visa application is approved.
“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.”
The US had announced that it would deny Nigerian politicians allegedly sabotaging the country’s democracy visa.
“The United States is a steadfast supporter of Nigerian democracy. We commend all those Nigerians who participated peacefully in the February and March 2019 elections and have worked to strengthen Nigerian democratic institutions and processes,” it said.
“As Nigeria marks the twentieth anniversary of a return to democratic rule this year, we remain committed to working together to continue to advance democracy and respect for human rights and achieve greater peace and prosperity for both our nations. We condemn those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process.
“In a January 24 statement, the U.S. government said that we would consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organizing election-related violence. To that end, the Secretary of State is imposing visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria. These individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights.”