Blog

VISA ON ARRIVAL (V.O.A)

Nigeria visa on arrival is a class of short visit visa issued at the port of entry. It is available to citizens of all countries except Ecowas Nationals and other countries which Nigeria has entered into visa abolition agreements. The Visa on Arrival facility is available to frequently travelled High Net Worth investors and intending visitors who may not be able to obtain visa at the Nigerian missions/embassies in their countries of residence due to the absence of a Nigeria mission in those countries or due to exigencies of urgent business travels.


Class of persons eligible to be issued with Visa on Arrival includes:
i. Members of government delegations
ii. Executives of Multi-National companies
iii. Frequently travelled business persons of International repute
iv. Holders of United Nation Laissez-Passé
v. Holders of African Union Laissez-Passé
vi. Holders of Ecowas Laissez-Passé
vii. Holders of any other official travel documents of other recognized international organizations who intend to visit Nigeria.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF VISA ON ARRIVAL AT ANY PORT OF ENTRY:
i. Visa approval letter (pre-approved visa letter), valid for 14 days from the date of issuance.
ii. Evidence of online payment
iii. Valid passport with not less than six (6) months validity
iv. Valid return ticket
v. Two (2) recent passport sized photographs.

Visit the official web portal of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), http://immigration.gov.ng, for more information

VISAS AND ENTRY PERMITS (ISSUED TO FOREIGNERS)

Nigerian visas are obtained at the Nigerian Missions or the nearest Nigerian mission where applicants are domiciled (or applicant’s countries of residence).
CATEGORIES OF VISAS AVAILABLE TO EXPATRIATE/ FOREIGNERS DESIROUS OF TRAVELING TO NIGERIA FOR VARIOUS REASONS & PURPOSES are as follows: (please endeavor to visit Nigeria with the appropriate visa to avoid embarrassment, harassment and extortion by unscrupulous elements/individual)
1. SUBJECT TO REGULARISATION (S.T.R) VISA: any foreigner/ expatriate that is to take up employment or employed by individuals or corporate bodies or even the government MUST endeavor to obtain this type of visa BEFORE coming to Nigeria. The applicant must also enquire from his employers whether they have valid QUOTA approval from Nigeria Ministry of Interior that covers the position/ designation he or she is coming to assume in Nigeria. The applicant should also enquire whether the employer’s business (es) is registered with Corporate Affairs Commission in accordance with companies and allied matters act of 1990.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SUBJECT TO REGULARISATION VISA
i. Valid passport with minimum of 6 months validity
ii. Letter of employment
iii. Expatriate Quota approval
iv. Credentials of the IMM22
v. Duly completed form IMM22
vi. Resume or curriculum vitae
vii. For Chief Executive Officers (C.E.O) of corporate organizations, there is need for extract of the minutes of the board’s resolution.

N.B: This visa (STR) is only obtainable from Nigerian Missions in the countries where applicants are domiciled FOR AT LEAST SIX (6) MONTHS (preceding application).

2. BUSINESS VISA: foreigners who wish to visit Nigeria for the purpose of contract negotiation, training of Nigerians, specialized skill services e.g. after sales installation, repairs of machines & equipment, machines & equipment maintenance, meeting, seminar, trade fairs, job interviews, staff of NGOs, staff of INGOs, researchers, musical concerts, marketing, sales, emergency/relief work, crew members. Business visa is obtainable at Nigeria Missions, except for special cases where Visa on Arrival is allowed. With the exception of Ecowas Nationals and countries Nigeria has visa abolition with who do not require visa to enter Nigeria, Business visa is available to citizens of all countries. It has (NOT EXTENDABLE) validity of 90 days after which if you wish to extend your stay you will be advised to apply for E-PARS.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF BUSINESS VISA:
i. Passport that has at least six (6) months validity with at least 2 blank visa pages for endorsement
ii. Two (2) recent passport sized photographs (35/40mm)
iii. Return ticket
iv. Evidence of hotel reservation/ host address in Nigeria
v. Evidence of sufficient funds
Caution: This visa is NOT valid for employment

For more information, visit http://immigration.gov.ng

3. TOURIST VISA: foreigners who wish to visit family and friends and those who wish to visit Nigeria for the purpose of tourism are eligible for tourist visa. It is available to citizens of all countries except Ecowas Nationals who do not require visa to visit Nigeria and other countries which Nigeria has entered into visa abolition agreements. Tourist visa has 90 days validity and the holder is not permitted to take up any form of employment.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF TOURIST VISA is the same with that of Business Visa, but with the inclusion of: invitation letter from host in Nigeria.

4. TRANSIT VISA: Foreign travelers wishing to enter Nigeria for onward destination outside the country are eligible to Transit visa. It is available to citizens of all countries except Ecowas Nationals and other countries that have visa abolition with Nigeria who do not require visa to visit Nigeria. This visa is not valid for employment and it has 7 days maximum period of stay.
REQUIREMENT FOR THE ISSUANCE OF TRANSIT VISA is the same with that of Business visa, but with the inclusion of: confirmed ticket to destination outside Nigeria.

For more information, visit http://immigration.gov.ng

EMERGENCY TRAVEL CERTIFICATE (Issued to Nigerians that lost their passports abroad)

This is being issued to Nigerians who lose their passport while abroad. Emergency Travel Certificate helps them to RETURN to Nigeria. An Emergency Travel Certificate is usually valid for ONE JOURNEY to Nigeria ONLY and MUST be surrendered to Immigration authorities at the Port of Entry.
Requirements for one to qualify to be issued with Emergency Travel Certificate:
i. Proof of Nigeria Citizenship
ii. Return Ticket to Nigeria
iii. Police Report

So, if you are a Nigerian residing anywhere in the globe and you happen to lose your Passport, kindly locate any Nigerian embassy or high commission whenever you want to return to Nigeria, you will be issued with Emergency Travel Certificate.

ECOWAS RESIDENCE CARD

This is a kind of ‘residence’ permit issued to ECOWAS nationals to allow them reside legally in Nigeria. Residence Card grants it’s holder all the Rights and Privileges as contained in the ECOWAS PROTOCOL. For one to qualify to obtain Residence Card from Nigeria Immigration Service, he or she must meet-up with the following requirements:
i. Letter of Identification from Employers (for an employee) stating clearly of their relationship with the applicant and also willingness to accept Immigration Responsibility (I.R) on behalf of the applicant. The same is applicable to students from Ecowas countries studying in Nigeria.
ii. Valid travel documents eg ETC or countries national passport (preferably countries passport).
iii. Two passport photographs
iv. Evidence of business registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission in accordance with C.A.M.A of 1990 (for a business owner)
v. Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) must be satisfied that the applicant entered Nigeria through approved Port of Entry or Border (with evidence(s) of ‘proper’ endorsements/documentation by Nigeria Immigration Service).

Front View
Inside View

ECOWAS TRAVEL CERTIFICATE (E.T.C)

This is a type of travel certificate issued to Nigerians (by Nigeria Immigration Service) who intend to travel WITHIN Ecowas subregion. It is ONLY valid for travel within the Ecowas subregion. Ecowas Travel Certificate (E.T.C) serves dual purpose, namely:
i. Passport: it is a recognized travel document valid for travels WITHIN countries that are signatories to the Ecowas Treaty.
ii. Form of Identity: It can be held concurrently with the Standard Nigeria Passport (or any of our National Passports). This proves that the holder is a ‘community’ (Nigerian) citizen.
The certificate can be obtained at the service headquarters, thirty-six (36) state commands and F.C.T office of NIS. E.T.C has a validity of two (2) years and shall be renewable for a further period of two (2) years. ETC could be replaced or amended if:
i. It is mutilated in any form or requires amendment
ii. If it is confirmed lost or stolen
iii. If the pages are exhausted while the Certificate is still valid
iv. If it has lasted for the four (4) years total validity period.

 

ECOWAS TREATY
Economic Community of West Africa States (E.C.O.W.A.S) was established in May 1975 to foster the economic integration and shared development of West African subregion. It’s member States includes:
1. Togo
2. Liberia
3. Mali
4. Niger
5. Nigeria
6. Senegal
7. Sierra Leone
8. Equitorial Guinea
9. Benin Republic
10. Burkina Faso
11. Cape Verde
12. Cote d’ Ivoire
13. Gambia
14. Guinea Bissau
15. Guinea
16. Ghana.

ECOWAS PROTOCOL STIPULATES:
A. Free Entry within 90 Days: all nationals of member states are entitled to ninety (90) days of stay in another member state. Provided the person has a valid travel documents e.g country’s passport or Ecowas Travel Certificate (issued by the Ecowas national’s country). Admission into the host country MUST be through approved Port of Entry.
B. Right of Residence: All Ecowas nationals with valid travel document who enters the host country through approved Port of Entry has the right to reside there upon procurement of residence card (valid for five (5) years subject to passport validity).
C. Right of Establishment of Business: All nationals (ECOWAS) in possession of ETC or country’s passport, admitted into the host country through approved Port of Entry and haven procured Residence Card are entitled to this Right of Establishment of Business. In addition to registration of business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (in accordance with Companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990).

PROCEDURE FOR PASSPORT (ONLINE) APPLICATION

Nigeria Standard Passport

 

1. Visit the home page of Nigeria Immigration Service (i.e www.immigration.gov.ng)
2. Locate passport on the menu and click on it
3. Scroll down to passport (sub-menu) and click on ‘apply for epassport’ button
i. Select a passport type “Standard epassport” (that’s the option for everyday Nigerians like you and I) OR “Official epassport” . It is always advisable to select “Standard epassport” option to avoid regrets.
ii. Select the processing country, where you wish to process the passport.
4. Fill the application form, endeavor to select the ‘processing state’ where you will like to go for the physical capturing of your biometrics. Also remember to select the number of passport pages you are applying for (i.e 32 or 64 pages respectively), because their fee varies (refer to “passport fees” section under ‘Application Fees’ menu on the official home page of Immigration website). The number of pages selected on the application form will determine the amount you are going to pay at the BANK.
i. After completing the application form, crosscheck it thoroughly to make sure that the data you supplied are correct before you check the ‘I ACCEPT FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS FORM’.
ii. On the issue of ‘colour of eyes’ and ‘colour of hair’, brown and black respectively is always the default.
iii. Choose your title accordingly but DO NOT attach it to either your SURNAME or OTHER NAMES.
5. Click on “print” button to print the completed form.
6. Click on “submit Application” button to view ‘Applicant details page’
i. Remember to PRINT the completed form before submitting the application.
7. Click on “proceed to online payment”
8. Click to select payment currency “pay in Naira” or “pay in Dollars” option
Ai. If you are applying in Nigeria you MUST pay in Naira
ii. Whereas if you are applying in any other country, you MUST pay in Dollars
iii. If you selected the option to pay in Naira, you will be prompted to select the payment type (payment method): “Bank”, “Credit or Debit Card”. Choose the one convenient for you.
iv. If you intend to pay at the bank (preferable), select “Bank” and click continue (view the list of participating banks and then click on ‘continue’).
v. Click the “Print Acknowledgement” button to print the payment acknowledgement slip that you MUST take to the bank. The Acknowledgement slip contains ‘Transaction ID, ‘Application ID & ‘Reference Number’. With that slip, proceed to a participating bank for payment. (DO NOT CLOSE THIS PAGE ON YOUR COMPUTER BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE YOU’RE GOING TO CONTINUE YOUR APPLICATION PROCESS AFTER A SUCCESSFUL PAYMENT AT THE BANK. JUST ‘REFRESH’ THE PAGE AFTER PAYMENT AND ENSURE THAT “PAYMENT CONFIRMED” IS DISPLAYED BEFORE PRINTING).
vi. On making payment at the bank, you MAY be issued with an ‘approved payment platform provider’ receipt/slip that contains a “Validation Number”.
B. If you intend to pay through Credit/Debit Card, select “Credit/Debit Card” and click continue,
i. Follow the instructions and fill in your details
ii. If the payment was successful, the “Validation Number” is generated. “store/Save” it and use it to confirm your payment (on the Immigration web portal). Note: you can print this receipt/slip that contains the validation number.
USING YOUR VALIDATION NUMBER (Which may no longer be obtainable):
9. After payment (having obtained the “validation number”), go back to the NIS web portal for confirmation of payment.
i. Go to the “Query your application payment status” and enter your passport Application ID and Reference No.
ii. If a “validation number” field appears please enter the number from your ‘approved payment platform provider’ receipt.
Note: validation number has been generated after payment through the bank.
iii. You can now PRINT a receipt or an Acknowledgement Slip by using the ‘print’ button on this page. The e-receipt that will be printed MUST be showing “PAYMENT CONFIRMED” on it.
10. For payment outside of Nigeria and other information concerning online passport application guidelines, visit: portal.immigration.gov.ng/pages/passportguidelines or passport fees (under “Application Fees” menu) on www.immigration.gov.ng
“NOTE: If the ‘validation number’ is not given to you after payment, just go back to the web portal and refresh that page where you printed the acknowledgement slip that you took to Bank for payment. The e-receipt that shows “payment Confirmed” should be displayed if your payment was successful, endeavor to PRINT it.”
11. Please to avoid paying twice, if you can’t make the online payment yourself, visit any NIS State Command nearest to you with the other requirements earlier mentioned for assistance.
Please Note: The PRINTOUTS NEEDED after a successful payment;
I. Your completed data pages must be printed out (it must contain a column for your signature, don’t sign it until you’re asked to sign it at the passport office).
II. Secondly, the acknowledgement slip that you took to Bank for payment.
III. Thirdly, the acknowledgement slip/e-receipt (that MUST display “payment confirmed”) that you printed after returning from Bank and going back to the web portal to complete your application. (Remember to affix a postal stamp on this page).
IV. To print the guarantor’s form, click “Apply Online” menu, scroll to ‘passport’ submenu and select “Guarantor’s Form”. Enter your passport Application ID & Reference Number in the appropriate field and click ‘Submit’. The guarantors form will display, endeavor to print it. Take the COURT page of the guarantor’s form to court for commissioner of oath’s endorsement.
Note: The Guarantor must be an adult that possesses all the requirements needed (refer to 1a under: Types of Passport in Nigeria).

Package all the requirements mentioned earlier (previous publication(s)) together with the printouts (if you made the online payment yourself).
Acquisition of Standard Nigeria Passport is NOT done by proxy, beware of fraudsters (YOU MUST APPEAR BEFORE A PASSPORT OFFICER, IN-PERSON FOR YOUR BIOMETRICS TO BE CAPTURED).
Avoid patronizing ‘Touts’ (under any guise), insist on being taken to the passport office. Don’t deal with people outside the office. Go for people in COMPLETE uniform and make sure you capture the person’s name from his or her ‘name tag’.
It is always advisable to make the PAYMENT and ASSEMBLE other requirements YOURSELF. But if you can’t make the payment yourself, you can seek assistance from officers at the passport office or any SERVING IMMIGRATION OFFICER. Endeavor to go with ALL the requirements.

2. Diplomatic Passport (Red Cover):

This type of Passport is issued by Nigeria Immigration Service ONLY to individuals on diplomatic assignment for the country.
Requirements for diplomatic passport
i. Letter of introduction from applicant’s ministry, parastatal or extra-ministerial department
ii. Two passport photographs

3. Official Passport (Blue Cover): Nigeria Immigration Service issues this type of passport ONLY to those individuals embarking on ‘official’ assignment abroad.
Requirements for official passport
A i. Letter of introduction from applicant’s ministry, parastatal or extra-ministerial department duly signed by an officer not below the rank of a director or
ii. Secretary to State Government in case of an employee of state government.

B. Two passport photographs
C. Marriage certificate (for married women)
D. Letter of appointment/ Last promotion

4. Pilgrims Passport (colour varies from year to year for security reasons):
Nigeria Immigration Service issues this type of passport ONLY to Nigerians intending to go on pilgrimage to the Holy lands. Pilgrims passport has six (6) months validity ONLY.
5. MRP-Seaman’s Book or Certificate of Identity (Maroon Cover):
Nigeria Immigration Service issue Seaman’s Book ONLY to Nigerians who work on ocean going vessels or water crafts. Most Nigerians refer to it as Seaman’s Passport.
Requirements for Seaman’s Book
i. Refer to 1A (Standard Nigeria Passport- Adults) above.

PASSPORTS AND OTHER TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

According to Wikipedia, a passport is a travel document usually issued by a country’s government that certifies the identity and nationality of it’s holder for the purpose of international travel (and other business transactions). Standard passports contain the holders name, place and date of birth, photogragh, signature and other identifying information. The Standard Nigeria Passport (popularly known as International passport or Ecowas passport by many Nigerians) has the biometric information of the holder in a microchip embedded in the document (that is why it is sometimes referred to as electronic passport or e-passport), making them Machine Readable and very difficult to counterfeit.
Types of passports in Nigeria
1. Standard Nigeria Passport (green cover): This is the most commonly used travel document in Nigeria. For one to qualify to acquire Standard Nigeria Passport, the person must be a Nigerian by birth, naturalization and registration. No Nigerian is allowed to hold multiple Standard passports and all Standard passports have a life span of Ten (10) years with an initial validity of five (5) years. Upon expiration, the holder goes back for Re-issue (and no longer renewal).

Front View
Back View

Requirements for obtaining a Standard Nigeria Passport:
A. Adults (18 years and above):
– Two (2) passport photographs
– Birth certificate or Affidavit of Age declaration
– Letter of Identification from local government of origin or residence
– Marriage certificate for a married woman

The Applicant must also download guarantor’s form from NIS web portal and the form must be:
– Completed by the guarantor and duly signed and taken to court for commissioner of oath’s endorsement.
– The guarantor must give the applicant photocopies of: (i) Data page of his/her Standard Nigeria Passport and (ii) National Identity Card or Driver’s license ( any two of the three documents mentioned)
– The guarantor must also give the applicant one (1) of his/her passport photograph (signed at the back).
NOTE: birth certificate as mentioned earlier refers to the one being issued by the National Population Commission and NOT Baptismal cards from any church or birth certificate from any Hospital.
– Secondly, if the applicant cannot download the guarantor’s form, he/she should at least endeavor to collect the other requirements from the guarantor
– The guarantor need not appear before the passport officer with the applicant.

B. Minors (0-17 years):
– Three (3) passport photographs
– Birth Certificate (from National Population Commission)
– Letters of consent from BOTH parents (or from a surviving parent, if the other is deceased)
– Marriage certificate (or affidavit of fact, with regards to traditional marriage or Islamic marriage)
– At least one (1) means of identification each from both parents (e.g data page of passports, drivers’ license, national identity card, voters card)
– One (1) passport photograph each from both parents
– Death certificate (For a minor whose parent or parents are deceased). The surviving parent/guardian accompanying the minor must present the death certificate(s) of the deceased parent(s)
– At least one of the parent(s) must accompany the minor to the passport office.

C. Loss Case:
– Police extract (from police station)
– Affidavit of loss (from court)
– Two (2) passport photographs
– Photocopy of data page of the lost passport
– Application for re-issue of lost passport (addressed to: The Comptroller, of the state command where it will be processed)

D. Case of damage:
– The applicant must go to the passport office with the damaged passport
– Two (2) passport photographs
– Application letter for re-issue of damaged passport.
NOTE: It is at discretion of the passport officer of the state command to address the issue or refer the applicant to the service headquarters.

E. Re-issue of expired passport:
– Two (2) passport photographs
– Photocopy of the data page of the expired passport
– Application letter for re-issue of expired passport (addressed to: The passport Schedule Officer; Nigeria Immigration Service; of the state command where one is routing his/her application).

F. Filled-up passport pages (before the expiration of the passport):
– Photocopy of the data page
– Photocopies of ALL the pages (that has endorsements, whether seen on arrival, S.O.A; seen on departure, S.O.D; visas; etc etc)
– Two (2) passport photographs
– Application letter for re-issue of filled-up passport ( addressed to: The passport schedule officer)

G. Change of data (as a result of marriage):
– Two (2) passport photographs
– Photocopy of data page of her Standard Nigeria Passport
– Marriage certificate
– Newspaper publication portraying the change of name
– Application letter (for change of data due to marriage), addressed to: The Passport Schedule Officer of the processing state.
– Photocopy of husband’s Standard Nigeria Passport (data page) or any other means of identification from her husband e.g. driver’s license or national ID card.

H. Change of data (as a result of family or personal change of name): This is at the discretion of the passport officer
– Two (2) passport photographs
– Photocopy of Standard Nigeria Passport (a.k.a International passport)
– Newspaper publication
– ‘WAEC’ or First School Leaving Certificate (or both) and other academic certificates bearing the name
– Application letter for change of data.

NOTE: that in the cases related to 1 E, F, G & H above, the PHYSICAL passport booklet MUST be presented to the passport officer.