Nigerians Pay staggering N9.7bn For US Visa In 2017
London, May 18, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Nigerians who travelled to the United States of America (USA) as non-immigrants in 2017 spent a staggering N9.733 billion as payment for visa fees
The amount excludes those spent by Nigerian emigrating permanently to the US as well as those whose visa applications were rejected.
Figures obtained from the annual report of visa issuance at the United States Foreign Service across the globe shows that a total of 515,434 visas were issued from its consulates across Africa in 2017.
Of the figure, Nigeria accounted for 32.78 per cent.
A further breakdown showed that a total of 168,980 non-immigrant visas were issued to Nigerians in 2017.
The USA embassy charges $160, about N57,600 as visa fees at its offices in Lagos and Abuja. This means that those whose applications for immigrant visa were approved jointly paid N9.733 billion as visa fees.
The figure, though staggering, was lower than the number of approved visas in 2016 when the highest number of visas issued to Nigerians was recorded. A total of 179,145 visas were issued in 2016.
The volume of visa issued by the US embassy had been on a steady rise since 2008 reaching apeak in 2016 before the drop last year.
In 2008, the US embassy issued only 59,748 non-immigrant visas to Nigerians a figure which rose gradually to 83,944 in 2012.
The figure however rose sharply in 2013 to 113,503 and has since risen consistently before last year. It is estimated that more than 220,000 applications are submitted annually by Nigerians for non-immigrant visas to the United States.
Further breakdown of Figures showed that 1,037 class ‘A’ visas-(Very top government functionaries) were issued to Nigerian government officials, while 156,104 B1,B2 visas were issued to Nigerians who applied as either temporary visitor or who went for business or pleasure.
Trade and transit visa C, D and E visas issued at the Nigerian embassy in 2017 totalled 234 while 7,473 F visas were issued for Nigerian students who left to study in the US.
The lowest figure of 149 visas went to Nigerian Journalists on official duties