Data from the United States Travel and Tourism Office has shown that there was a drop in the number of Nigerians, who visited America due to increased visa fee.
In August 2019, the United States Government had included a repository fee for Nigerians granted visa under B, F, H1B, I, L, and R classifications.
The US Government said that “the reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the non-immigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application. Nigerian citizens whose applications for a non-immigrant visa are denied will not be charged the new reciprocity fee.
“Both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification.”
The new fee was in response to the increased charges imposed on United States Citizens by the Nigerian Government.
However, shortly after the new visa policy against Nigerians, the Nigerian Government caved in and withdrew the extra charges imposed on U.S citizens coming into Nigeria.
But the U.S has refused to reciprocate.
The report has now shown that the charges have made it difficult for many Nigerians to afford visa.
As of October 2019, 34,000 fewer Nigerians traveled to the US compared to the previous year—a 21 per cent drop.
After a sustained period of growth between 2011 and 2015, the number of Nigerian visitors to the US started to plateau in 2016 until the big drop-off last year.
The second-largest drop was for visitors from Venezuela (17.7 per cent).
The South American country is in the midst of an economic and political crisis, which has seen more than four million people flee the country and the US is restricting entry to Venezuelan migrants.