Emigration and Visas in Nigeria
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Nigeria Emigration and Visas
Visa requirements for Nigeria when travelling for business:
It is important to be completely clear about which visa to apply for. When the Nigerian High Commission thinks you have applied for the wrong visa, your passport could be held for a period of time plus once a passport has been handed in you cannot withdraw your application. You might have to start the whole process again which means you will also have to pay again!
Which visa do I need?
It all depends on the purpose of your visit, now donít be smart and say business- well yes, of course, but what type of business? If the purpose of business is to attend a seminar, meeting, contract negotiations or training you need to apply for a Business Visa
Skilled workers, contractors or experts offering their services for a limited amount of time to corporations or non-profits already operating in Nigeria need to apply for a Temporary Work Permit ( TWP ) for which a contract and a confirmed return ticket are required.
When you have been offered long-term employment in Nigeria you will need to apply for a STR Subject to Regulation Visa this visa permits paid employment as an expat in Nigeria including the Delta region. The Nigerian government restricts the number of expatriates who take up paid, permanent employment in the country. The length of the STR visa will be valid for 90 days when issued from the Embassy and it will be for a single entry only. Upon landing in Nigeria you will be asked to present the authorities with not only your visa, but a packet from the Embassy which contains the rest of your STR documents. After the authorities have reviewed your documents you will be eligible for a Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Card (CERPAC) which will give you residency rights and the actual right to start work.
Now you know which visa to apply for the next thing to do is to make sure you have the right paperwork.
For all visas you will need the following:
- Passport, valid for a minimum of 6 months at the time of travel, with 2 blank pages next to each other.
- Printed copy of a completed online application form (more info to follow) x4 for STR
- 2 passport-type photos* taken within the last 6 months, attached to the application form.The back of each photo must have the applicant's name printed on it in capitals,and be signed by the applicant. * 4 photos when applying for STR
- Printed copy of the Payment Confirmed page from the online application. x4 for STR
- Printed copy of the Visa Acknowledgement page from the online application. x4 for STR
If you live in the UK but are not a British passport holder you must submit evidence of legal stay or residence in the UK. If you canít submit this evidence you will have to apply for a visa in the country of your origin or nationality unless there isnít a Nigerian mission in your country. It wonít be possible to apply for an express or fast track service in the UK without a British passport.
Requirements for a Business Visa
- Letter of invitation from an organisation or person(s) in Nigeria, on headed paper, addressed to the Visa Section, Nigerian High Commission, accepting full immigration responsibilities.
- Company letter from the applicant's employer in the UK, stating the current immigration and employment status of the applicant and confirming awareness of the trip to Nigeria.This letter should also make it clear the purpose of the trip is for business meetings only.
Requirements for a Temporary Work Permit
- Approved cablegram from the Director of Immigration Services, Abuja, issued no more than 3 months prior to the date of application. This must also be received directly from Nigeria by the Visa Section, Nigeria High Commission in London.
- Letter from the sponsors in Nigeria addressed to the Visa Section, Nigeria High Commission, London, accepting full immigration responsibility.
Requirements for a Subject to Regulation Visa
- 4 copies of the Approved Expatriate Quota.
Your new employer will have to have received Expatriate Quota approval from the Ministry of the Interior, which is required by the Nigerian government to prevent the indiscriminate employment of expatriates where there are qualified and suitable Nigerians to fill those positions
- 4 copies of the Letter of Offer of Appointment.
- 4 copies of the Acceptance of Offer of Appointment.
- 4 copies of a letter from the Nigerian employer addressed to the Visa Section, Nigerian High Commission in London,requesting the STR be issued and accepting full immigration responsibilities.
- 4 copies of the signed Employment contract.
- 4 copies of applicant's CV.
- Original*and 4 copies of each professional qualification certificate. Only the most relevant 2 or 3 need be included.
* Originals will be viewed when the application is submitted and immediately returned
When the STR visa application is approved, stamped copies of documents should be provided. Immigration officials within Nigeria may request these, so be sure to keep them on hand.
The application form needs to be filled in online, in our experience this can cause confusion and frustration. Hopefully with the steps below you donít have to shout at the computer!