The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) recently rolled out a new Visa on Arrival (VoA) application process for Business Travelers and African nationals. The VoA became effective on 1st January 2020 and is only applicable to Business Travelers (non-African Union nationals who are frequently travelled high net worth investors with business interest in Nigeria) and African national (citizens of non-ECOWAS African countries). The application process does not apply to nationals of ECOWAS countries who do not require a visa to visit Nigeria and nationals of other countries which Nigeria has entered into visa abolition agreements.


To be eligible for a VoA, applicants must meet one of the criteria below:

  1. Frequently travelled business persons of international repute,
  2. Executives of multi-national companies,
  3. Members of government delegations,
  4. Holders of United Nations Laissez-Passer,
  5. Holders of African Union Laissez-Passer, or
  6. Holders of any other official travel documents of other recognized international organizations who intend to visit Nigeria.

The Application Process

The VoA application process comprises of two steps:

  1. Online application and payment, and
  2. Biometric enrolment, visa issuance and immigration clearance at the Port of Entry.

Applicants that qualify as business travelers are required to visit the NIS portal ( and complete the online application form. During the process, the applicant would make the requisite payment and upload the following documents:

  1. Passport photographs,
  2. A copy of his passport data page,
  3. An introduction/application letter,
  4. A copy of his airline return ticket,
  5. Registration particulars of the Host Company or letter of permission in the case of a non-governmental organisation, and
  6. An invitation letter from Host Company amongst other requirements.

Similarly, African nationals are required to also complete the online application form, make the requisite payment and upload their passport photographs, data page of their international passport, an introduction/application letter and a copy of an airline return ticket.

Please follow this link to view the detailed requirements and procedure for each of the steps with a few variations between business travelers and African nationals.

All VoA applications are treated within 48 hours and must be pre-approved, with an approval letter sent to the applicant's email, prior to arrival in Nigeria. An approval letter is valid for 14 days only. Corporate entities, investors and foreign nationals are advised to acquaint themselves with the new VoA procedure and requirements which can be considered as a laudable achievement on the part of the NIS.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.