NIGERIA – Visa on Arrival Expanded to Ease Business Travel
Effective immediately, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has expanded the range of activities which are allowed on a business visa.
NIS has also extended eligibility for a Visa on Arrival (VoA) to business travellers who may not be able to obtain a consular business visa because Nigeria does not have a consulate in their home country, or due to the exigencies of urgent business travel.
Eligible business activities
Previously, business visas were only issued for business meetings. Under the new visa policy, foreign nationals can obtain a business visa for contract negotiation, marketing, sales, purchase and distribution of Nigerian goods, trade fairs, job interviews, training of Nigerians, research, emergency/relief work, work as crew member, work for an NGO or an INGO and musical performances.
The consular Nigerian business visa is valid for a stay of 90 days (not extendable), and processing times vary depending on the consulate of application.
Business Visa on Arrival
The business Visa on Arrival, previously only available to “frequently travelled high net worth investors”, has been extended to business travellers who may not be able to obtain a consular business visa because Nigeria does not have a consulate in their home country, or due to the exigencies of urgent business travel.
VoA is issued initially for a stay of 30 days, but this can be extended to 90 days.
Visa on Arrival application procedure
First, the applicant’s sponsor in Nigeria must apply to the Comptroller general of Immigration (CGI) to obtain Visa on Arrival approval. If approved, an electronic copy of the approval letter will be emailed to the applicant.
Next, the applicant must complete an online application for Visa on Arrival and pay the required fee online.
Finally, on entry, the applicant must present the approval letter and evidence of payment at the Visa on Arrival desk, where an entry visa will be endorsed in their passport.
- The NIS has decentralised the issuance of passports from the headquarters in Abuja to the state commands.
- The NIS has opened 28 new CERPAC (residence permit) production centres.
- All previous airport arrival and departure forms/cards have been combined into a single form for all agencies of government.
The policy change is part of the recently-announced 60-day national action plan to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
- Business Travellers to Nigeria should check with an immigration adviser whether their intended activities are allowed on a business visa.
- Eligible business travellers to Nigeria should consider applying for a Visa on Arrival to expedite their travel.