On 4th February 2020, the Federal Government of Nigeria launched a new Nigeria Visa Policy 2020 (“NVP” or the “Policy”). President Muhammadu Buhari stated that “the Policy is expected to attract innovation, specialised skills and knowledge from abroad to complement locally available ones”. Essentially, the NVP was formulated to help Nigeria become a globally competitive economy and to boost tourism. The Policy provides a platform to achieve African integration without comprising national security.
The Policy has introduced novel categories and classes of visas. One of the marquee provisions of this Policy is that it allows for the issuance of visas at entry points for certain categories of persons (such as businesspersons and tourists). This will surely make it easier for such people to visit the country at short notice.
Key highlights of the NVP are as follows:
- The Policy lists three visa categories which are:
- Short Visit Visa (SVV);
- Temporary Residence Visa (TRV); and
- Permanent Residence Visa (PRV).
The SVV comprises of visa classes for diplomats (non-accredited), tourists, businesspersons, journalists, clerics, sportspersons, entertainers, scholars, emergency relief workers, humanitarian workers etc. The SVV will be issued for up to 90 days. ECOWAS citizens however do not need visas to enter the country as long as they have their necessary travel documents.
Visas under the TRV categories include visa classes for accredited diplomats, expatriates, clerics (inclusive of their spouses and dependants) and students.
The PRV category includes visa classes for investors in small enterprises, medium-size enterprises, large corporations, ultra large corporations, the oil and gas industry, and the power sector.