God Has Done It – American Woman Jubilates After Getting Nigerian Visa, Narrates Ordeal In Washington DC

An American lady has narrated how she obtained the visa to journey to Nigeria solely after every week of utility – a course of which took her mates near a month as a result of inefficiency of Nigerian officers.

Olivia (not actual title), a missionary travelling to Nigeria, informed SaharaReporters how her visa processing price a complete $850 (about N350,000), including that it was a “miracle” the visa obtained by means of in a single week.

God Has Done It – American Woman Jubilates After Getting Nigerian Visa, Narrates Ordeal In Washington DC 2

Processing the visa from United States Capital, Washington DC, the lady narrated that she didn’t must pay kickbacks solely as a result of the Nigerian Mission had “a good relationship with the travel agency.”

“It took my friends three and a half weeks to get their Nigerian visas. It can take a while to get. I don’t believe it’s that hard though; this is my second time using this office. They are more pricey, but it’s not that difficult. It’s a simple process,” she said.

“The first time it was hectic; if you are not providing right documentations, that puts longer delay. God’s done it. The officials didn’t demand money as kickbacks. They have a good relationship with a travel agency.”

Olivia added that the visa confirmed up at her door in lower than one week, surprisingly as towards the kickbacks regime on the Nigerian Mission.

“My Nigerian visa story this time is; someone went to Washington. The agencies closed. She paid close to $350 but by the time she added travel and computer costs, it was close to $550. My visa came out to $850. That was the total amount spent. The travel agency has a good relationship with Nigeria. I got this Nigerian visa in less than a week. It is a miracle. It showed up at my door. Glory to God,” she narrated.

There have been widespread complaints about how Nigerian Mission officers within the US unnecessarily delay functions for visas so as to acquire kickbacks and different gratifications from the travellers.

This was coupled with the exorbitant charges Nigeria demanded from different nationals making use of for its visa, whether or not from the US or elsewhere.

According to the Guardian in September 2019, the US had for nearly two years complained formally to the Nigerian authorities concerning the exorbitant expenses that its residents had been compelled to pay for a Nigerian entry visa.

“United States residents pay as a lot as $270 for a single-entry visa. They are additionally charged $160 for consular companies, one other $100 for ‘administration’ and $10 for ‘processing.” 

More than 18 months after, however, the Nigerian government did not respond to the US complaint,” a Guardian report said.

According to another report, “the committee set up to look into the US complaints concluded its assignment in 2019 but powerful individuals with vested interests constrained officials from implementing the recommendations until the US government same year embarrassed the federal government with the reciprocity visa charges.” 

Hence in August 2019, the then Donald Trump administration imposed a “reciprocity” fee for all approved non-immigrant visa applications by Nigerians. The fee will be charged in addition to visa application fees (usually paid at the start of the application process) for only applicants who are issued visas. The additional reciprocity fees range from $80 to $303 depending on the class of visa. 

The US Embassy in Nigeria says the reciprocity fees are in response to unsuccessful talks with Nigeria’s authorities to regulate the charges it expenses American candidates given “the total cost for a US 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.”

As such, the reciprocity price “is meant to eliminate that cost difference,” as required by US legal guidelines.

The reciprocity visa expenses imply that, along with the usual non-refundable visa utility charges, Nigerians in search of entry into the United States must pay an additional minimal of $80 upon approval of their visas (additional fee quantity relying on visa sort, and should rise to as excessive as $303).

This coverage pressured the Nigerian authorities to then announce the approval of a discount within the visa charges payable by US residents.

But, owing maybe to the now well-known coverage implementation gaps that result in sustenance of so many hidden expenses inside many Nigerian service methods, the American authorities has maintained that till its embassy receives, “official diplomatic communication regarding a new fee schedule for Americans seeking Nigerian visas and confirmation of implementation, the reciprocity fees for approved visas would remain in place.

SaharaReporters had in February 2020 reported that in response to the US government’s demand, the Nigerian Government slashed its visa application charges for citizens of the United States from $180 to $160.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the old amount comprised $160 as visa fee and $20 as “processing and expedient fees”.

According to the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, the discount adopted a evaluation of the US’ visa reciprocity coverage for Nigeria.

Babandede said this in a February 5 memo marked NIS/HQ/CGI/806/7 and addressed to the Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In August 2019, the US Government imposed further visa charges on Nigerians in retaliation for the “treatment afforded to US citizens” by the Nigerian Government.

In his letter, the NIS urged all Nigerian missions within the US to right away implement the brand new visa expenses payable by US residents, and “discontinue charging processing or expedient fees”.

“Our Missions are to issue up to two years multiple entry visa to frequent short visit travellers on request in line with reciprocity,” he stated.

A senior official of the Nigerian Consulate in New York, had informed NAN that the “processing and expedient fees” of $20 was for on-line utility and fee companies rendered by a personal agency.

Babandede’s letter got here a day after the President Muhammadu Buhari launched the Nigeria Visa Policy 2020 which, amongst others, elevated the nation’s visa courses from six to 79.

Having obtained Nigeria to do the needful, the US on December 5, 2020, additionally eliminated the reciprocity price imposed on visa functions for Nigerians.

The Nigeria’s then Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonye in a press release later stated the reciprocity price removing took impact from December 3, 2020.

“The ministry of foreign affairs wishes to inform that the United States government has removed all visa reciprocity fees for Nigerian citizens seeking visas to the United States,” Nwonye had stated.

“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,” he added.

Despite the discount within the visa charges by the Nigerian authorities, its officers nonetheless allegedly swindle foreigners travelling to the nation by bringing a deliberate delay within the acquiring of visas until kickbacks are given.

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God Has Done It – American Woman Jubilates After Getting Nigerian Visa, Narrates Ordeal In Washington DC

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