• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Explainer: All you need to know about Nigeria’s visa-on-arrival process

Explainer: All you need to know about Nigeria’s visa-on-arrival process

With the recent outcry by foreigners and investors that Nigeria’s visa-on-arrival (VoA) process is one of the most difficult in the world, experts have said that many do not understand how to apply for the visa as well as its requirements.

This article explains the requirements for VoA, those eligible for the visa and how to apply for it.

The VoA is a class of short visit visa issued at the port of entry.

The VoA is available to frequently travelled high net worth investors and intending visitors who may not be able to obtain visas in their countries of residence due to the absence of Nigerian missions or embassies in those countries.

Read also: Nigeria’s knotty visa on arrival process squeezes investors

Who is eligible?

The visa is available to citizens of all countries, except Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) nationals who do not require visas to visit Nigeria and other countries which Nigeria has entered into visa abolition agreements with.

Classes of people eligible for the VoA include: frequently travelled business persons of international repute, executives of multi-national companies, members of government delegations, holders of United Nations laissez-passer, holders of African Union laissez-passer, holders of ECOWAS laissez-passer, holders of any other official travel document of other recognized international organisations who intend to visit Nigeria.


The requirements for the VoA at the port of entry include: visa approval letter (pre-approved visa letter) valid for 14 days from the date of issuance, evidence of online payment, passport with minimum of six months validity, valid return ticket and two recent passport-sized photographs.

How to Apply

Applicants are first required to get visa-on -arrival approval letter. To apply for the approval letter, applicants are required to contact their representatives (business partners, company representatives, protocol/liaison officers, etc) in Nigeria.

The representative would then file formal requests for visas on arrival approval on behalf of the applicants stating the visitors’ names, passport numbers, nationalities, purposes of visit, proposed dates of visit, proposed ports of entry, proposed airlines, flight itineraries, addresses in Nigeria and email addresses of the visitors.

The representatives are also required to attach copies of data page of visitors’ passports, and copies of valid return tickets in support of the applications.


The requests are expected to be processed, approval and issued within 48hrs (two working days). After the approval letters are obtained, (hard copies) by applicants’ representatives, advanced copies will be forwarded to the applicants by emails. Copies of the same document will be forwarded to the airlines stated in applicants’ applications and immigration officers at the ports of entry.

Read also: Nigeria’s visa issuance is based on reciprocity – NIS


Applicants are required to fill in the application forms with their correct details and make payment online.

However, successful payment online is not an approval. Applicants are not expected to proceed to Nigeria until they have received ‘Visa on Arrival Approval Letter’ issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters, Abuja. Online payment may also be made at point of arrival subject to presentation of Visa on Arrival Approval Letter. Master Card, Visa and American Express cards are acceptable.

Upon arrival at the port of entry, applicants are required to proceed to a clearly marked Visa on Arrival Desk for issuance of entry visa. They are required to present their approval letters, passports and evidence of payment for applicants to be issued with entry visas.

After this process, applicants can then proceed for immigration clearance.