The Nigerian government is not likely to review its non-immigrant visa validity policy for Americans despite the implications of the Executive Order signed by US President Donald Trump on Friday, a presidency source has told TheCable.
TheCable reported on Sunday that under “visa validity reciprocity” section 9, the order says if a country “does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable…”
While the US issues nonimmigrant visas mostly with two-year validity to Nigerians, Nigeria still grants visas of shorter validity to Americans.
The presidency official told TheCable: “It is true we have a visa reciprocity agreement with the US, but in practice, both countries still exercise discretionary powers in the implementation. It is not one-sided.
“Currently, we issue visas with validity from three months up to two years to Americans. A few years ago, when Professor Ade Adefuye was the Nigerian ambassador, we started giving selected American individuals five-year visas, seeking to encourage the US to do same for Nigerians, but they refused. They therefore cannot complain about reciprocity.
“Although you would say the US generally gives two years to Nigerians, there are instances that they issue only for two weeks. It may be rare but it happens. US gives what it likes. We too give what we like. That is discretion.”
The official, who cannot be named because he was not mandated to speak on the development, said he was optimistic Nigerians would still be issued with two-year visas.
The implications of Trump presidency for Nigeria are still being assessed by the government, especially as they impact on trade and military relationships.
Under the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA), Nigerian exporters enjoy special access to the American market with waivers and concessions.
Trump has vowed to protect the American market.
The country also enjoys military aid from the US but Amnesty International has been writing damning reports of human rights abuses by Nigerian troops.