The U.S. government has announced that it is imposing a 'reciprocity fee' on Nigerians seeking to travel to the United States.
The new fee will only apply to Nigerians whose visa request has been approved.
The announcement was made in a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Abuja .
The new fee ranges from $80 to $110 (28,8000 to N39,600) depending on the type of visa being applied for.
"The reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application," the embassy said.
The embassy added that the fee was being imposed to reciprocate a similar one by the Nigerian government on Americans seeking to travel to Nigeria.
"U.S. law requires U.S. visa fees and validity periods to be based on the treatment afforded to U.S. citizens by foreign governments, insofar as possible."
The U.S. is a major destination for thousands of Nigerians who travel annually for various reasons including education, leisure, and work.
Read the full statement by the embassy below.
Revised Visa Reciprocity for Nigeria
Effective worldwide on 29 August, Nigerian citizens will be required to pay a visa issuance fee, or reciprocity fee, for all approved applications for nonimmigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications. The reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application. Nigerian citizens whose applications for a nonimmigrant 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.
U.S. law requires U.S. visa fees and validity periods to be based on the treatment afforded to U.S. citizens by foreign governments, insofar as possible. 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.
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.
The reciprocity fee will be required for all Nigerian citizens worldwide, regardless of where they are applying for a nonimmigrant 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 complete reciprocity fee schedule, organized by visa classification, can be found below.
The reciprocity tables displayed on travel.state.gov will be updated to reflect the changes above.
For full details on the implementation of reciprocity fees for Nigerian visas, please visit our websites: https://ng.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/ and http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng