On the 4th of February 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari officially presented to the public the Nigerian visa application policy (NVP) for the year 2020.
The NVP 2020 provides a channel to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), boost the tourism sector, enhance business opportunities and achieve African integration. This new visa policy is intended to support the attainment of a globally competitive economy for Nigeria.
In the new visa policy, the classes of Visa have been increased from 6 to 79, and these classes are categorised into three, namely;
- Short Visit Visas (SVV)
- Temporary Residence Visas (TRV)
- Permanent Residence Visas (PRV)
Short Visit Visa
Twenty-eight (28) new classes of visas were introduced in this category that allows foreigners to remain in the country for a maximum duration of 90 days.
The short term visit visas can be issued to foreigners who wish to visit Nigeria for tourism, short business meetings, study, academic exchange program, and humanitarian services, amongst others.
Temporary Residence Visa
This visa category introduced 36 classes of multiple entry visas that allow expatriates to remain in Nigeria for a maximum period of 2 years and is subject to renewal.
The temporary residence visa will enable expatriates to work, school, intern, and get established in Nigeria; it also allows expatriates to be accompanied by their dependents to Nigeria.
Permanent Residence Visa
This visa category consists of 15 classes and grants a specific group of individuals permanent residence status in Nigeria.
Some of these classes of individuals include spouses of Nigerian citizens; Nigerians by birth who have renounced their Nigerian citizenship and their spouses; highly skilled individuals; some classes of retirees and investors who import an annual minimum threshold of capital.
In line with the Federal Government’s objective to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the investor’s visa is issued to potential ultra-large corporation investors who wish to invest in Nigeria. The investor’s visa is valid for five (5) years and is admissible for multiple entries; the investor visa can only be gotten via a direct application from the embassy.
- Evidence of funds dependent on capital
- Police report from country of residence
- Proof of investment in Nigeria
The different classes of investor’s visas are;
- Oil, Gas and Power Sector – $100M minimum
- Ultra Large Scale Corporation – $10M minimum
- Large Scale Corporation – $1M minimum
- Medium Scale Enterprise – $500,000 minimum
- Small Scale Enterprise – $250,000 minimum
Nigerian Visa Application Channels
Three main channels of application are recognised under the new visa policy which includes:
Visa on Arrival (VoA)
This allows foreigners to obtain a visa upon arrival at the point of entry – at airports, only. This channel is open to tourists, frequent business travellers, returning holders of other national passports who are Nigerian by birth, emergency relief workers, and holders of passports of African Union (AU) countries. However, holders are not eligible for employment
Required documents: Valid passport and valid return ticket
Electronic Visa (e-Visa)
This is an online visa application process that allows an applicant to apply for a visa online and obtain an e-visa before coming into the country.
The issuance of an e-visa is subject to an online pre-approval (Travel Authorization Letter “TAL”) before arrival to Nigeria. Approval confirmation and electronic TAL would be sent via email within 48 hours after which the applicant can travel to Nigeria. The e-visa applies to a larger class of short term visas.
Required documents: A valid passport, evidence of sufficient funds, return ticket, and hotel reservation/ host address.
Visit at the Embassy and Application Centers
All classes of visas can be processed and obtained at the Nigerian Embassy or an authorised Nigerian Visa Application Center.
The application can be filled on the NIS website, and payment can be made online. Documents are then submitted at the Nigerian Embassy, and if approved, the visa is issued.
During the visa application process in Nigeria, foreigners must undergo biometrics capturing at the Embassy, visa application/issuance centres or on arrival into Nigeria.
Why This Is the Right Time To Expand Into Nigeria
The new drive of the Federal Government to attract FDI into the country is a welcome development. Asides from the immediate benefit of linking foreign investors to high-growth sectors in the medium and highly-skilled manufacturing industries, it also further reduces hindrance to smooth integration with global supply-chain networks.
Now more than ever, the Nigerian market is pliable and supple for foreign investments. The new visa policy has also provided a more transparent and dependable market expansion opportunity. If you are still in doubt about the favourable conditions for doing business in Nigeria, here are nine more reasons why you should expand your business into Nigeria.
At Workforce Group, we partner with foreign businesses looking to expand their operations into Africa’s largest markets. As one of the leading HR & Business consulting firms on the continent, we have helped companies like yours scale across the continent by partnering with them and offering our services from Business Expansion PEO, Risk HR outsourcing, Immigration, Visa & Work Permit Services, Serviced Office Rental to Vendor Management.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you enter and scale your business across the continent, send us a message. We’d love to hear from you.
Click here to download the full visa policy document.