New Visa Policy 2020

Nigeria New Visa Policy 2020

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) on 4 February 2020 launched the Nigeria Visa Policy 2020 (NVP 2020). The new policy is expected to stimulate economic growth and development whilst improving boosting Foreign Direct Investment.

The major highlight of the NVP 2020 includes:

  1. Expansion of the classes of visas from 6 to 79 and classification under 3 categories
  • Short Term Visas (28 classes): These allow foreigners to visit Nigeria for a period of up to 3 months, for the purpose of tourism and short business meetings, amongst others.
  • Temporary Residence Visas (36 classes): These allow individuals to reside in Nigeria for the purposes of employment, accompanying employed migrants and schooling, amongst others.
  • Permanent Residence Visas (15 classes): these confer permanent residence status on spouses of Nigerian citizens, Nigerians by birth who have renounced their Nigerian citizenship, and their spouses, investors who import an annual minimum threshold of capital, highly skilled individuals and some classes of retirees.
  1. Introduction of visa application channels
  • Visa on arrival:This allows non-Nigerians to obtain a visa upon arrival at the point of entry, where the visitor makes a payment online, via the NIS’s website, undergoes biometric enrolment and is issued the entry visa. This channel applies only to four classes of short-term visas and holders of passports of African Union c
  • Visa Application Centers: The new policy provides for the establishment of visa centers in some countries. The proposed visa center will be responsible for the collection and submission of visa application on behalf of applicants to the Nigerian Embassy for processing and approval. All classes of visa can be processed and obtained at the Nigerian Embassy.
  • Electronic Visa (e-Visa): The Nigeria e-Visa service is an online application process that enables foreign nationals to apply and obtain electronic approval for short visit visas not exceeding three months. The e-visa channel is available for a larger class of Short Visit Visas compared to the Visa on Arrival channel.The basic requirements for this application channel are a valid passport, return ticket, evidence of sufficient funds and hotel reservation/ host address.
  1. Provision for issuance of investor Visa

The NVP 2020 introduces a new investor visa options have been introduced for small, medium, large and ultra-large-scale enterprises, as well as within the oil, gas and power sectors.

The classes are:

  • Small Scale Enterprise: Evidence of 250,000 USD-500,000 USD as importation and retention of investor’s capital
  • Medium Scale Enterprise: Evidence of 500,000 USD-1,000,000 USD as importation and retention of investor’s capital
  • Large Scale Corporation: Evidence of 1,000,000 USD – 10,000,000 USD as importation and retention of investor’s capital
  • Ultra Large-Scale Corporation: Evidence of 10,000,000 USD and above as importation and retention of investor’s capital
  • Oil, Gas and Power Sector: Evidence of 100,000,000 USD and above as importation and retention of investor’s capital

The visa will be valid for five (5) years, multiple entries and is subject to renewal. Holders of this visa are permitted to invest and reside in Nigeria.

Conclusion

The implementation of the NVP 2020 will indeed bring about improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria. This development will have its effect on employers as it will improve visa processing time.