Any foreigner coming into Nigeria has to go through a process of acquiring a visa just like every other country. For example, an Expatriate that has gotten employment in Nigeria either from an individual, corporate firm or the government might have completed a criteria that qualify such expatriates for a certain type of visa however, this does not mean that such expatriate is entitled to a visa once an employment is given. There are certain obligations to be fulfilled. In this section, I am going to list and explain in details all the types of visa necessary for an expatriate to either live or work in Nigeria.
Moving to a place different from where one is familiar with is usually a big challenge. This experience is however not different from what expatriate faces when moving into Nigeria. Nigeriaimmigrationlawyer.com guide you by offering information on the country’s immigration process and other useful information you should be aware of before relocating to Nigeria.
Anyone planning to move to Nigeria should be aware that there are four different types of visas necessary for a convenient stay in Nigeria, with each valid for three months. These visas differ for different purposes which would further be explained.
This type of visa is issued to applicants who wish to pass through Nigeria to a further destination. It is available to citizens of all countries except ECOWAS Nationals who do not require visa to visit Nigeria and other countries which Nigeria has entered into visa abolition agreements. An applicant seeking this type of visa must be in possession of an express approval visa or any form of permission, as well as a confirmed ticket or sufficient funds to pay for any means of transportation appropriate to reach that country. A transit visa may also be given at the port of entry on the specific approval of the Comptroller-General of Immigration. This type of visa is given for a period not exceeding a seven (7) days stay.
PROCEDURE FOR ACQUIRING A TRANSIT VISA
A tourist or visitor’s visa is as the name implies. If visiting relatives or friends in Nigeria, a signed letter of invitation from host explaining the relationship to the applicant and the purpose of travel. In addition, the letter must indicate the length of stay, place of stay, and contact information. In addition, the letter must state …”We hereby accept full immigration responsibilities”…
If the host is a Nigerian citizen, a copy of hosts passport must be submitted. If host is a resident in Nigeria, copies of host’s resident permits and the information page of their passports.
PROCEDURES FOR ACQUIRING A TOURIST VISA
Foreign Travellers who wish to visit Nigeria for the purpose of Tourism.
Foreign Travellers who wish to visit family and friends.
Categories of foreigners that can apply are expatriates employed by individuals, corporate bodies or governments to take up employment in Nigeria. This is the type of visa required by foreigners seeking to take up employment in Nigeria. Section 8, sub section(1), of the Immigration Act provides that:
“No person, not being a citizen of Nigeria, may take up employment in Nigeria other than employment with the federal or state government without the consent of the Comptroller-General of Immigration”.
Section 33 of the Act further provides that:
“An application must be made to the Comptroller-General by the prospective employer, in writing, confirming that he/she has a vacancy on the expatriate quota and at the same time stating the position in which prospective employee is to be employed and confirming acceptance of immigration responsibility”.
The employer company applies to the Nigerian embassy or consular office in the country where such intending employee resides, requesting that he and his accompanying spouse, fiancée or children, if applicable be granted subject to regularisation for residence work permit (STR Visa) when he arrives in Nigeria. In such application, the employer company undertakes to assume immigration and other responsibilities for the employee and whoever is accompanying such expatriates.
Getting an STR visa is only the first step towards working and living in Nigeria. The STR visa alone does not entitle you to take up employment in Nigeria right away. After your employer has applied for the regularization of your stay on arrival to Nigeria, you will be given the CERPAC which is a combined residence and work permit, After this CERPAC form has been processed, the outcome will be the Aliens Registration Card popularly called the Green Card will be issued which is usually the final process valid for a minimum amount of 2 years.
PROCEDURES FOR ACQUIRING A SUBJECT TO REGULARIZATION VISA (STR)
This is issued to government officials, Diplomats and their spouse. It is usually issued to classified government agents and recognized diplomats coming to represent their government in Nigeria. Proper confirmations and clearance procedures are usually obtained from home country. Categories of people that qualifies for this type of visa are people who are Visiting Heads of State and their families; Top officials of Government and their families; Diplomats and their families; Holders of United Nations Diplomatic Passport; Members of accredited Diplomatic Missions; Members of International organizations; Members of accredited International Non- Governmental Organizations
PROCEDURES FOR ACQUIRING OFFICIAL VISA / DIPLOMATIC VISA
For more information, advise and consultation bothering on immigration issues, foreign investment and participation in the Tourism or any other sector in Nigeria, contact:
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