Visa-on-arrival: Immigration service releases guidelines

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Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s last year announcement that from January 2020, Africans travelling to Nigeria will be able to obtain their visas on arrival, the Nigerian Immigration Service has released details of its new Visa-on-Arrival application processes for Africans and non-Africans.

The president said he believed that Nigeria needs to “bring down barriers that have hindered the free movement of our people within the continent” through the introduction of the new policy.

Meanwhile the NIS announced on its website that, “This is to notify the General Public that Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has rolled out a new Visa on Arrival Application Process for all Business Travelers and African Union (AU) countries, except for ECOWAS member countries,” the website read.

According to details on the NIS website, the visa on arrival is available to “Frequently traveled High Net Worth Investors with business interest in Nigeria; and Citizens of African countries.”

For African nationals to apply for a visa, they need to visit the NIS portal and follow the instructions after selecting the option, ‘Visa on Arrival’.

The website reveals that documents that are necessary during the application process include: an original passport photograph, an introduction or application letter addressed to “The Comptroller General of Immigration, NIS HQ, Abuja, stating their name, nationality, passport number, purpose of visit, proposed date of visit and port of entry, flight itinerary, and address in Nigeria or hotel reservation.”

Business travelers, when applying for the visa, are required to use the same NIS portal as indicated.

The only difference is the documents they need to upload, which includes everything mentioned for the African nationals, a copy of passport data page and of airline return ticket, and an invitation letter from host company.

The website said that it is important to note that a successful online payment is not an approval, hence, applicants should not proceed to Nigeria until they receive ‘Visa on Arrival Approval Letter.’

Already, nationals of ECOWAS countries are free to visit Nigeria without Visa.

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