The Nigerian Immigration Department has announced preparedness to commence the new visa policy announced by President Muhammad Buhari earlier in the year. The new Nigerian Visa Policy 2020 (NVP 2020) is aimed at simplifying the visa process for tourists, special skilled professionals as well as business investors. Implementation was to begin on 1st October 2020 but the deployment of biometric facilities have been hampered by the CoVID-19 global pandemic. The new policy expands visa categories from the previous 6 main categories to 79 sub categories classified into two policy groups - Visa-Free group with four(4) sub-categories and Visa-Mandatory group under which there are seventy-five(75) sub-categories.
This applies to citizens of the 15 ECOWAS countries (F1A), visa exemption border countries and other countries with visa-waiver agreement with Nigeria (F1B), African Union passport holders as well as other international organizations (F1C), and Official / Diplomatic Passport Holders from foreign countries with mutual agreements with conditions for gratis visa (F1D).
Passports from this group F1A and F1B may obtain single entry visa on arrival at any Immigration Ports of Entry into Nigeria. For intending applicants under F1C and F1D, Visa On Arrival (VoA) may be issued only at designated airports. Please contact the nearest Nigerian Consular Mission for advice. All visas issued under the Visa-Free Policy are for duration of stay not beyond 90 days.
This is applicable to citizens of all other passports that require visa to enter Nigeria. Passports Holders from this group desiring Short Visit, Temporary Residence or Permanent Residence may apply for visa in advance of traveling to Nigeria. The categories are as follows:
This category contains twenty-four (24) sub categories tailored to specificity of the traveler's purpose of visit and status, ranging from Nigerian born abroad to honorary consul to non-accredited diplomat. Visas issued under this category permit single entry for a maximum duration of 90 days.
This category contains thirty-six (36) sub categories recommended for a range of travel purposes ranging from people who hold temporary work permits to accredited diplomats. The TRV is a multiple entry visa that may not exceed a duration of twenty-four (24) months or two (2) years.
This category contains fifteen (15) sub categories applicable to spouse of a Nigerian Citizen, a senior dependant (aged 65 and above) of a PRV holder, rare talent or highly skilled worker, exceptional investor, or retiree. PRV policy is subject to periodic review.
For all Visa Mandatory group, applicant may complete their visa processing at the Nigerian Visa Application Center (NVAC) or Nigerian Consular Mission nearest to them. Official / Diplomatic Passport holders may apply directly at the Nigerian Diplomatic Mission. Please contact the nearest Nigerian Consular Mission in your location for more information.
The new policy is being implemented in phases, starting from Visa on Arrival (VoA) which applies to passports from all African Union member countries except the 15 ECOWAS countries which are eligible for visa-free category (F1A), The rest of the visa categories will be implemented as biometric systems are installed in Nigerian Consular Missions abroad. The lanching of the new eVisa system will will further ease the process for the Visa Mandatory group.
Travelers who already obtained Nigerian Visas in the older non-biometric visa categories can still enter Nigeria as long as the visa date remains valid. Similarly, travelers who have already entered Nigeria with the older non-biometric visa categories do not have to change their visas except at the point of renewal.
For more details on the new Nigerian Visa Policy (NVP) 2020, please see the raw document from the Nigerian Immigration Department.