Eligibility and Procedure of Nigerian Visa on Arrival

A Nigerian Visa must be applied for by any individual who is not a Nigerian citizen and intends to travel to Nigeria, either for the visiting purpose, studying, working, or for permanent residence. There are three methods to get this: Visa on Arrival (VoA), which is flawless, fast, easy to use, and mostly executed online.

The following groups can request voA of people:

  1. High Net Worth Investors (HNIs) have business interests in Nigeria. Non-African under 18 candidates cannot apply for a VoA in this category.
  2. African countries citizens except for ECOWAS nationals who do not normally need a visa to visit Nigeria for a period, not more than 90 days, and citizens of countries with which Nigeria has visa waiver agreements. For the sake of clarity, nationals of the following African countries cannot apply for a Nigerian VoA: Burkina Faso, Benin Republic, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Republic of Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Republic of Chad, and the Republic of Cameroon.

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Eligibility Criteria for VOA:

For the above category of the individual to be eligible, they must:

  • Managers of multinational companies
  • Frequently traveled business people of international reputation

For the Members of Government Delegations

  • Holder of the African Union Laissez-Passer
  • Holder of the United Nations Laissez-Passer
  • Holders of other official travel documents
  • Holders of other recognized International Organization passports intending to visit Nigeria.

It is imperative to note that although it is a visa on arrival, a person wishing to obtain this visa must obtain prior authorization for eligibility to issue the visa before boarding an airplane.

Procedure for Getting VoA:

There are two steps included in applying and getting a Nigerian VoA. These are:

Step 1: Apply, pay, and attach the required documents online.

Before beginning with this step, it is recommended to get and scan the following supporting documents to be uploaded:

  • Passport photos
  • Letter of Introduction/Application to be addressed to the "Nigerian Immigration Service Headquarters, Comptroller General of Immigration" stating:
  • Applicant's name and nationality
  • Applicant's passport number
  • Purpose of Travel
  • Proposed port of entry
  • Proposed visit date
  • Flight schedule
  • Hotel reservation or residence in Nigeria
  • Photocopy of the passport data page
  • Photocopy of the return ticket
  • Letter of invitation from the invitee company (Not necessary for African countries citizens)
  • Corporate Affairs Commission Certificate from the invitee company or letter of approval if the company is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). (Not required for citizens of African countries)

1. Complete the required application and make the payment:

Payment is online and cashless and must be proven by a printed payment invoice and acknowledgment slip.

2. Attach the required documents: 

These are scanned copies of the above documents, based on whether you are applying as an individual with business interests or an African country citizen.

3. Submit application: 

Upon applying, a receipt will be issued, which should be printed.

4. Application Processing: 

The application will be processed to check the details submitted, and an approval confirmation and letter will be sent to your mail address within two business days. The Approval Letter is essential for issuing a VoA and must be received before traveling to Nigeria

Step 2: Travel to Nigeria, Biometric Registration, Visa Issuance, and Entry Authorization

  • Once the Approval Letter is in place, the candidate can travel to Nigeria. It is recommended to have a hard copy of the Approval Letter, payment, and acknowledgment slip.
  • Once you arrive at the port of entry, go to a counter marked as "Visa On Arrival" and provide the following:
  • Approval Letter
  • Proof of online payment
  • Passport with a validity of at least six months
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Valid return ticket
  • Biometric registration will be performed, and a VoA will be issued.

Ultimately, the above procedure can be performed by the candidate or through an agent/contact in Nigeria who can apply. VOA cannot be used for residence and employment. It is designed to meet the needs of urgent business trips and facilitate visa applications quickly. It is mandatory to follow the above procedure to get a visa in Nigeria.

About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and Visas.com, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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