Abuja — A day after the United States of (USA) reciprocated Nigeria's increase of visa for Americans, the minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has approved the decrease of visa charges payable by US citizens in line with reciprocity policy.
To this effect, the comptroller-general of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, has been directed to implement the decrease in Nigeria's visa fees for US citizens with effect from today.
The ministry, in a statement signed by the director (Press and Public Relations), Mohammed Manga, said: "The attention of the Ministry of Interior has been drawn to the introduction of reciprocity of visa fees by the United States of America."
Though the federal government acknowledged that there were engagements with the US Embassy on the issue, it stated that 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.
The statement reads: "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 US Consulate had in a statement on Tuesday explained that it was "reciprocating" the extra visa fee the Nigerian government charges its citizens.
The consulate said that Nigerians would 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.
LEADERSHIP gathered that 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 US Embassy or the Consulate-General. The reciprocity fee cannot be paid at banks or any other location," the statement read in part.
Under the new policy, Nigerian citizens whose applications for a non-immigrant visa are denied will not be charged the reciprocity fee.