[By VICTOR NZE]
United States Government has removed the controversial Visa Reciprocity Fees slammed on Nigerian travelers to the country.
A statement by the Ministry of foreign Affairs, issued by spokesperson, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye,
Saturday, confirmed the development, adding that the move by the U.S is in line the Nigerian government’s own removal of similar charges on American travelers into Nigeria.
“The positive development is in line with the removal of excess visa application, processing and biometric fees for United States citizens applying for Nigerian visas by the Nigerian government.
“The United States government has, therefore, eliminated the reciprocity fees for Nigerian citizens with effect from December 3, 2020,” a part of the statement from the ministry said.
The statement added that: “Prospective Nigerian travellers to the United States are hereby advised to visit: www.travel.state.gov for details.”
It would be recalled that the United state President, Donald Trump had earlier in the year announced visa reciprocity fees against some countries, including Nigeria, charging high visa fees.
Following the outcry by Nigerians, the federal government responded a few days later by reducing visa fees for Americans travelling to Nigeria from $180 to $150 in response to the US embassy’s introduction of a “reciprocity fee” for Nigerians.
The American embassy had earlier claimed that the reciprocity fee, ranging from $80 to $303 and only to be paid for approved visas, were introduced to eliminate that cost difference between visa application fees for both countries.
The embassy had explained then that the move was in line with a Trump executive order in 2017 for the US Secretary of State to, among other things, adjust fee schedules to match the treatment of United States nationals by other countries.