Nigerian Visa is required to be obtained by any person who is not a Nigerian Citizen intending to travel to Nigeria either for visitation purposes, study, work or to reside permanently. There are three (3) ways in which this can be obtained, one of such is Visa on Arrival (VoA) which is seamless, quick, user friendly and majorly executed online. This article seeks to state the category of persons that can apply for VoA, their eligibility and a breakdown of the procedure for acquiring the same.
VoA can be applied for by the following category of persons:
- High Net Worth Investors (HNIs) with business interest in Nigeria. Non-African Applicants under the age of 18 cannot apply for VoA under this category.
- Citizens of African Countries excluding ECOWAS Nationals who ordinarily do not require a visa to visit Nigeria for a period not exceeding 90 days and citizens of countries which Nigeria has entered into visa Abolition Agreements. For purpose of clarity, citizens of the following African Countries cannot apply for Nigerian VoA:
- Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger Republic, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Republic Cameroon and the Chad Republic.
For the Category of Persons above to be eligible they must be:
- Frequently travelled Businesspeople of International Repute
- Executives of Multinational Companies
- Members of Government Delegations
- Holders of United Nations Laissez-Passer
- Holders of any other official travel documents
- Holders of African Union Laissez-Passer
- Holders of any other recognized passport of International Organizations who intend to visit Nigeria.
It is important to note that although the term is Visa On Arrival, a person intending to obtain same must obtain prior approval for eligibility to be issued the same before boarding a plane.
- Procedure for Obtaining VoA
There are two (2) steps involved in applying and obtaining a Nigeria VoA. These include:
Step 1: Apply, Make Payment and Attach the Necessary Documents Online
Visit the Nigerian Immigration Portal (NIS) Portal: Visit the NIS Visa On Arrival Page
However, before proceeding with this step, it is advisable to obtain and scan the following documents to be uploaded on the portal:
- Passport photographs
- Introduction/Application letter which should be addressed to the "Comptroller General of Immigration, Nigerian Immigration Service Headquarters" stating:
- Name and Nationality of the Applicant
- Passport Number of Applicant
- Purpose of Visit
- Proposed date of visit
- Proposed port of entry
- Flight Itinerary
- Address in Nigeria or Hotel Reservation
- Copy of Passport Data Page
- Copy of Airline Return Ticket
- Invitation Letter from the host Company. (Not required for citizens of African Countries)
- Corporate Affairs Commission Certificate f the host Company or Letter of Permission where the entity is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). (Not required for citizens of African Countries)
- Complete the necessary application and make payment: The link leads to a few steps to fill in information such as nationality, type of visa on arrival, valid email address, phone number etc.
Payment is made online and not in cash and must be evidenced by a printed payment receipt and acknowledgement slip.
- Attach the necessary documents: these are scanned copies of the documents identified above depending on whether you are applying as a person with business interests or citizen of an African country.
- Submit the application: A receipt will be issued upon submission of the application which should be printed.
- Processing of Application: the application will be processed to verify the information submitted after which an Approval Confirmation and Approval Letter will be sent to your email within 48 hours (2 working days). The Approval Letter is crucial to being issued VoA and must be obtained before proceeding to Nigeria.
NB: The Approval Letter is valid for 14 days from the date of issuance and is simply a document approved by NIS that allows a traveller to proceed to Nigeria and pick up entry visa at the point of entry.
Step 2: Proceed to Nigeria, Biometric Enrollment, Visa Issuance and Immigration Clearance
- Once the Approval Letter has been obtained, the applicant can proceed to Nigeria. It is advisable to have a printed copy of the Approval Letter, Payment and Acknowledgement Receipt.
- Once you have arrived at the Port of Entry, proceed to a desk marked "Visa On Arrival" and present the following:
- Approval Letter
- Evidence of Online Payment
- Passport with a minimum of six months validity
- Valid Return Ticket.
- Evidence of Accommodation.
- Biometric enrollment will be conducted and Visa On Arrival is issued.
Finally, the above procedure can be conducted by the Applicant or through a Representative/Contact in Nigeria who can apply on the Applicant's behalf. VOA cannot be used for employment or residence. It is intended to cater to the exigencies of urgent business travels and facilitate the acquisition of visa within a short time. It is necessary to follow the above procedure to obtain a Visa On Arrival in Nigeria.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.