A business visa is a travel authorization issued by the government through the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) which enables foreigners to visit Nigeria temporarily for business purposes.1 It is important to note that the business activities allowed are those that don't constitute work or employment in the country of the issue, i.e., Nigeria whilst visiting. The business visa does not permit holders to work full-time in the country of issue but only empowers individuals to partake in specific activities during their visit to the country.2
BUSINESS ACTIVITIES THAT DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY FOR A BUSINESS VISA
All persons who engage in certain business activities may apply for a business visa provided that they are not on the ban list or members of ECOWAS who do not require a business visa to do business in Nigeria.3 Foreigners who wish to visit Nigeria may apply to the Nigerian Immigration Services for a business visa to conduct the following business activities:
- To attend a meeting
- contract negotiation
- procurement of Nigerian goods
- trade fairs
- and job interviews4
The business visa is valid for not more than 90 days from the date of issuance.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED WHEN APPLYING FOR A BUSINESS VISA IN NIGERIA
The following are the documents required when applying for a business visa in Nigeria:
- Passport valid for at least 6 months with at least 2 blank Visa pages for endorsement
- Two (2) recent passport-sized (35x40mm) photographs
- Return Ticket
- Evidence of sufficient funds
- Evidence of hotel reservation/host address in Nigeria
- Completed visa application form
- Nigeria Immigration Service Visa Payment Receipt and Visa Acknowledgement Receipt5
PROCEDURE FOR APPLYING FOR A NIGERIAN BUSINESS VISA
The following are the procedures to follow when applying for a business visa in Nigeria:6
- Visit the Homepage of the Nigerian Immigration Portal (immigration.gov.ng.)
- Click on the business visa application form to start the process.
- Log in and complete the online visa application and print the completed form (Visa Form IMM22).
- Pay online through the e-Portal system and print payment receipts.
- Affix 2 passport-sized photographs to completed Visa Form IMM22, along with the other requirements, and submit through any of the following:
- Via Post or in person to the Embassy/High Commission/Consulate of Nigeria where an applicant is Resident or,
- In person at the designated Visa Application Centre (where applicable)7.
The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has made the application process for obtaining a business visa in Nigeria easier and more efficient. A foreigner need only to fill out the appropriate application form, pay the prescribed fees and submit the necessary documents through the appropriate channel. Where in doubt, foreigners may contact a Nigerian immigration lawyer for further guidance on the business visa application process.
1. HandyVisas, 'What is a Business Visa' https://www.handyvisas.com/glossary/business-visa/ accessed on April 26th, 2023
3. IVisa, 'Nigerian Visa Requirements' https://www.ivisa.com/nigeria-blog/nigerian-business-visa-requirements accessed on April 26th, 2023
4. Nigeria Immigration Service, 'Business Visa (Single Entry) - F4A' https://immigration.gov.ng/visaclass/business-visa-single-entry-f4a-2/ accessed on April 26th, 2023
6. The Nigeria Immigration Service, 'Visa Application Guidelines' https://portal.immigration.gov.ng/?p=visaguidelines accessed on April 26th, 2023
7. Resolution Law Firm, 'How to Obtain a Nigerian Business Visa' https://www.resolutionlawng.com/how-to-obtain-a-nigerian-business-visa/ accessed on April 27th, 2023
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