In a bid to make travelling to the country easier and attract foreign investors, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has launched an online Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) system. Visa on Arrival is a class of short visit visa issued at the port of entry.
The new immigration service allows for visa applications without having to visit a Nigerian mission and can be made online in any country, according to Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the NIS, while launching the new service in Abuja last Thursday.
All travellers have to do is register with the Nigeria Immigration Service online and provide travel details, after which a letter of approval will be issued if the application is successful, and the visa collected on arrival in Nigeria.
The NIS has also deployed a dedicated e-mail address – firstname.lastname@example.org – for visa applicants, their representatives or companies to send their requests and details.
Alternatively applicants can also apply directly online on the website of the NIS.
Babandede said the NIS has automated its visa application and visa processing services at all entry points. “This is to ensure that all genuine requests for the Visa on Arrival facility from any part of the world are processed and issued within 48 hours (two working days),” he said.
To ensure a smooth process, the Comptroller-General advised applicants to use functional e-mail addresses that approval letters can be sent to upon a successful process and payment. However, “applicants are to note that successful payment online is not an approval and should not proceed to Nigeria until you have received a “Visa on Arrival Approval letter” duly issued by the NIS Headquarters, Abuja,” he said.
Babandede further explained that a Visa-On-Arrival designated desk is currently operational at all of Nigeria’s international airports where visas would be issued upon the presentation of all the necessary travel documents and proof of visa fees payment.
According to Babandede, the new system is part of the resolution of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) to create a conducive environment to attract foreign investors into the economy.
The online Visa on Arrival system is also a product of ongoing visa reforms to bring Nigeria to par with standard practices worldwide with the elimination of unnecessary bureaucratic visa processing procedures in Nigerian Missions abroad. All of which have prompted complaints from foreign business people that they made entry difficult.
For more information on the Visa on Arrival service, visit the homepage of Nigeria Immigration Portal