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Nigeria buckles under pressure, reduces visa fees for Americans

The Nigeria government has buckled under pressure, reducing visa charges for Americans visiting the country. The US Government earlier this week announced new visa fees for all approved non-immigrant visa applications by Nigerians. The new “reciprocity fee” regime was scheduled to take effect from August 29.

The Nigeria government has buckled under pressure, reducing visa charges for Americans visiting the country.

Nigeria’s Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola reportedly told journalists that the government had approved a reduction in visa charges for US citizens from $180 to $150.

The US Government earlier this week announced new visa fees for all approved non-immigrant visa applications by Nigerians. The “reciprocity fee” ranges from $80 to $303 depending on the type or class of visa.  The new fee regime was scheduled take effect from August. 29. The “reciprocity fee”, which is also known as the visa issuance fee, is paid in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Following the announcement of the “reciprocity fee” for Nigerians seeking to travel to America, Nigeria’s Minister of Interior resolved to adjust visa charges for Americans visiting the West African country.

A statement from the ministry 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.

“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.

“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, Rauf Aregbesola, has approved the decrease of visa charges payable by US 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 US citizens with effect from Thursday, August 29, 2019.”

It remains to be seen if the US government will now reciprocate Nigeria’s decision to reduce visa fees or if it will waive the “reciprocity fee” for Nigerians, which it had scheduled to start implementing from 29 August.

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