The Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, has introduced a new visa policy called Visa on Arrival, VOA, in order to encourage foreigners who are willing to invest in the country.
Comptroller General of the NIS, Muhammad Babandende, announced the taking off of the policy on Thursday in Abuja.
The Immigration boss explained that the initiative was part of a resolution reached at the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, which is aimed at encouraging foreign investment in the country.
He said: “As a critical member of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, the NIS has automated its visa application and processing services at all entry points.
“This is to ensure that genuine requests for visa on arrival facility from any part of the world are processed and issued within 48 hours.”
According to Babandende, the VOA application and processing facility is a product of the robust visa reforms regime which is intended not only to attract foreign direct investment and skilled professionals to the country, but also to bring Nigeria at par with global best practices.
He explained that with the new policy, all unnecessary bureaucratic visa processing procedures in Nigeria missions abroad has been eliminated, adding that the policy will also benefit would-be visitors from countries where Nigeria does not have a mission presently.
The Immigration CG added that visa applicants or their representatives can forward their requests or enquiries to email@example.com.
“Applicants are however to note that successful payment online is not an approval and should not proceed to Nigeria until you have received a ‘visa on arrival approval letter’ duly issued by the NIS headquarters, Abuja.”
Babandende also said that a VOA desk has been opened at all international airports in the country where visas would be issued upon the presentation of all the necessary travel documents and evidence of visa payment.
He expressed optimism that the new visa policy as well as the newly introduced harmonized arrival and departure cards would encourage foreign direct investment in Nigeria.