On 4th February, 2020 the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) launched the Nigeria Visa Policy 2020 (NVP 2020). The aim of the policy is to facilitate economic activities that will help promote economic development without compromising national security.
Through the NVP 2020 Nigeria seeks to follow through with their overall objective to ensure the ease of doing business in the country. In addition to this, NVP 2020 demonstrates Nigeria’s commitment to honouring the vision of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
How it works
The NVP 2020 is an automated global visa system with biometrics linked to each application online. To prevent the occurrence of corruption the biometrics will be conducted at the port of entry.
NVP 2020 Visa Categories
The NVP 2020 has the following 3 visa categories which are divided into 79 classes:
- Short Visit Visas
This visa is granted for the purpose of short visits such as tourism and business meetings, for the period of up to 3 months. This category has 28 classes.
- Temporary Residence Visas
This visa is granted for the purpose of permitting foreign individuals have access to employment, education, etc. This category has 36 classes.
- Permanent Residence Visas
This visa is granted to those who were conferred permanent residence status. Such persons may be:
- Spouses of Nigerian citizens,
- Nigerians by birth who have renounced their Nigerian citizenship,
- Spouses of the latter,
- Investors who import the authorized annual minimum threshold of capital,
- Highly skilled individuals, and
- Some classes of retirees.
This category has 15 classes.
NVP 2020 Application Channels
Persons who want to apply for visa can do so through any of the following channels:
- Visa on Arrival (VoA)
Visa on arrival can only be issued at airports and not land borders. It is only for those who intend to come to Nigeria for short visits.
Holders of African Union (AU) passports can also apply for a Nigerian visa through this means.
The VoA applies to only a limited number of classes of short visit visas.
The application for visas through this means is done at the Nigerian port of entry after making payment online through the website of the NIS. The applicant thereafter goes through a biometric enrolment and issued the entry visa.
- Electronic Visa (e-Visa)
Unlike the VoA, this application channel is available for larger classes of Short Visit Visas.
Just like the VoA, application is made online through the NIS website. However, a pre-approval must be obtained before coming to Nigeria.
- Nigerian Embassy or Authorized Visa Application Centres
This application channel can be used to process all classes of visas. Application is made online through the NIS website at the Nigerian Embassy or authorized visa application centres. The documents used to apply for the visa is handed over to the Nigerian Embassy or authorized visa application centres and a visa is issued once the documents submitted are approved.
The Future of Business in Nigeria
The expansion of the classes of visas shows Nigeria’s resolve to expand its international trade relations and boost her economy. The NVP 2020 also seeks to encourage Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria as well as attract innovation, specialized skills and knowledge from abroad.
This, therefore, means that companies in Nigeria need to be up to standard to welcome the potential investment that the new visa policy will help to create. However, it is important to note that companies in Nigeria should expect to face stiff competition from their counterparts coming from abroad as their investments may be used to establish rival companies.
Thus, Nigerian companies need to increase the quality of their goods and services in order to be more competitive in the market.
The NVP 2020 also has the potential of creating an avenue for Nigerian businesses to invest in tourism. The NVP 2020 was designed to boost mobility of foreigners into Nigeria, hence a new found opportunity for Nigerians to participate in the tourism sector.
For further information and detailed advice, please contact the following lawyers in our immigration support services unit:
Managing Director, Chris Ogunbanjo Nominees Ltd
Mrs. Wonuola Abioye
Miss Opeyemi Bada