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A travel operator hostess welcomes passengers to Nigeria at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic/Photo: MMIA

Nigeria commences visa-on-arrival policy for African nationals

Nigeria has begun issuing visas on arrival to African nationals arriving. These exclude citizens of the ECOWAS member countries who do not need visa to visit the country. This means that the affected African visitors do not need to have been issued a visa prior to arriving at any point of entry to Nigeria

According to a report of the Nigerian newspaper, PUNCH, the implementation o the visa on arrival policy started on 1 January.

Under the visa-on-arrival policy, Africans wishing to visit Nigeria must however have applied for the visa on the portal of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) before arriving in Nigeria. The intending visitors will then be issued a visa approval letter before proceeding on their journey to Nigeria.

“Visa approval letter is a document approved by the Nigeria Immigration Service headquarters that allows a traveller to proceed to Nigeria to pick up entry visa at the point of entry,” the NIS said in a statement.

“Visa approval letter normally takes two working days to process and e-mailed to you and your representative/contact who applied on your behalf in Nigeria through email or your representative/contact in Nigeria. Visa on arrival is not valid for employment or residence.”

Applicants are required to have a passport with six months validity period and are expected to proceed to the visa-on-arrival section for approval verification, biometric enrolment, and issuance of entry visa upon arrival at the port of entry.

The applicant will be required to present their approval letter, passport, evidence of payment, evidence of accommodation in Nigeria and return ticket.

The same procedure applies to the category of “Frequently travelled High Net Worth Investors with business interest in Nigeria”.

President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) had on 11 December announced the visa-on-arrival policy for Africans at the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa, in Cairo, Egypt.

“We in Nigeria have already taken the strategic decision to bring down barriers that have hindered the free movement of our people within the continent by introducing the issuance of visa at the point of entry into Nigeria to all persons holding passports of African countries with effect from January 2020,” the President said.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous and biggest economy, is the 17th country in the continent to introduce visa on arrival for all African nationals. The others are Sierra Leone, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, Seychelles, Uganda, Djibouti, Somalia, Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Mozambique and Benin.

Kola Tella

 Here is the link to the portal of the NIS on the visa-on-arrival procedure

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