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U.S-Nigeria Diplomatic Row: FG blinks, reduces visa fees for Americans

In reaction to settle the diplomatic row between the United States and Nigeria hinged on reciprocal new U.S visa regime to take effect on Thursday, August 29, 2019, the Federal Government has approved a reduction in visa charges payable by United States citizens from $180 to $160.

In his explanation, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Wednesday, said that the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, had been directed to implement the decrease in the visa charges with effect from Thursday, August 29, 2019.

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The US Mission in Abuja had said that the reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the non-immigrant visa application.

By the new policy, applicants would be required to pay $110 for B1, B2, B1/B2; F1 and F2 while H1B and H4 visas attract $180. I visa applicants would cough out $210 while L1, L2 applicants will pay $303 and R1 and R2 $80.

The reciprocity fee was applicable to all approved applications for nonimmigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications, noting that Nigerian citizens whose applications for a nonimmigrant visa were denied would, however, not be charged the new reciprocity fee.

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The Mission explained that both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification.

But the ministry in a statement by its spokesman, Mohammed Manga, said a committee set up to conduct due diligence in line with the ministry’s extant policy on reciprocity of visa fees had earlier engaged with the US embassy on the issue, adding that the implementation of its recommendations was delayed due to “transition processes in the ministry at the policy level.”

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It said, “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, Ogbeni 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 August 29, 2019.”

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