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US increases visa fee for Nigerians in 'mutual exchange' move.

The United States government on Tuesday, August 27, announced a new visa fee for non-immigrant Nigerians planning to travel to the country.

The US in a statement released on its Nigerian embassy website said Nigerians will be required to pay a visa issuance fee or reciprocity fee for all non-immigrant under the B, F, H1B, I, L, and R classifications.

The fee, the US said, will be charged in addition to the non-immigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee.

According to the US embassy, all visa applicants will pay the reciprocity fee at the time of application.

The new policy however said that, Nigerians who are denied visas will not be charged the new reciprocity fee even though both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification.

The statement said that the law expects visa fees to be based on the treatment afforded to US citizens by foreign governments, insofar as possible.

It said the visa issuance fees are implemented under the principle of reciprocity; when a foreign government imposes additional visa fees on US citizens, the United States will impose reciprocal fees on citizens of that country for similar types of visas.

According to the US government, citizens of some countries across the world are currently required to pay the reciprocity fee after their non-immigrant visa application has been approved. The statement said: '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.'

It also said that since 2018, the US has engaged the Nigerian government to request that the Nigerian government change the fees charged to U.S. citizens for certain visa categories.

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Publication:Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra, Ghana)
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Aug 29, 2019
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