The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the implementation of a new online visa on arrival service which will facilitate the process of applying for a visa for business, investment, and tourism purposes for Nigeria.
The online visa on arrival for Nigeria became available on May 13th, 2019, and will allow eligible applicants to pre-register for a visa for a short stay, which will be issued at the port of entry in Nigeria.
The system is aimed towards high net worth foreign investors who previously had difficulty in obtaining a visa for Nigeria due to the lack of a Nigerian Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence, or being unable to get a visa for business travel at short notice.
The Nigerian online visa on arrival has been designed to eliminate the need to wait in long queues and complete extensive paperwork to obtain a visa for Nigeria, in the hopes of attracting investors who may have previously been dissuaded by inefficient application processes.
The Comptroller-General of Immigration for Nigeria, Muhammad Babandede, stated his belief that the online visa on arrival will vastly improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria, and directly called on foreign investors to take advantage of the new system.
How the Online Visa on Arrival for Nigeria Works?
Eligible travelers to Nigeria will now be able to apply, pay, and receive approval for a visa to enter the country online without having to travel to an embassy to speak to a consular officer. Applicants are required to pay the online visa fee using a credit or debit card and are able to submit and pay for applications for up to 4 family members at the same time.
After pre-registering online, travelers only need to present the visa approval letter, evidence of payment, and evidence of accommodation in Nigeria, alongside their passport, in order to gain expedited entry to the country.
The Immigration Service has also introduced a Visa Experience Survey to track applicants’ satisfaction with the new online system, allowing them to provide feedback on the ease and efficiency of completing the application and the fairness of the visa requirements.
In addition to facilitating the process of applying for a visa, as well as minimizing airport congestion and curbing visa overstays, the new system also hopes to help improve the security of Nigeria’s borders. Improving border security has recently become a top priority for the country, in order to combat the large number of immigrants who cross into Nigeria through 1,400 illegal points of entry. Other measures have included the ongoing implementation of new security technology at the 89 official border crossings in Nigeria.
Nigeria is just the latest in a long line of African nations to adopt a modern border management system. Countries such as Angola, Benin, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Rwanda, Sao Tome, and Principe, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have all also recently introduced electronic visa systems in recent years.
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