Nigeria is the largest economy and most populated country in Africa. The booming business activities in Nigeria among other factors have made it mandatory for the Nigerian Immigration Service to be issuing a special type of visa known as a business visa. The purpose of the business visa is to quickly facilitate the immigration procedure or requirements from the foreigners coming to Nigeria for urgent business purposes. The crewmembers or staff of Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) wishing to engage in any humanitarian services in Nigeria may also apply for the Nigerian business visa.
It is a strict compliance that all foreigners coming to Nigeria for business purposes need to have a visa for Nigeria prior to the arrival except in special cases were visa is issued on arrival. Only citizens of member-states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and few countries with visa abolition agreements with Nigeria are exempted from the visa’s requirement. Business Visa is available to citizens of all countries except ECOWAS Nationals and about 3 other non-ECOWAS countries, which have entered visa abolition agreements with Nigeria. However,
Foreign Travelers (Business men and Investors) who wish to visit Nigeria for the purpose of a meeting, conference, seminar, contract negotiation and marketing. Foreigners also willing to engage in sales, purchase distribution of Nigerian goods, trade fairs, training of Nigerians and humanitarian services such as emergency or relief work.
Crewmembers, staff of NGOs and researchers are also eligible to process the business visa.
The following are the requirements for processing a Nigerian business visa
Affix 2 passport sized photographs to completed Visa Form IMM22, along with the other requirements and submit through any of the following:
Note: Applicant may be invited for interview within 2 – 3 working days from receipt of application where necessary.
Validity of a Nigerian business visa is 90 days (not extendable).
Flowing from the above, it is crystal clear that the application process of obtaining a Nigerian business visa is simpler, compared to other classes of visa. The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has constantly reviewed the requirements of obtaining a Nigerian business visa to make processing easier as it can be.
Furthermore, the NIS has harmonized airport immigration forms to reduce the stress of paperwork for visitors and Visas on arrival will now be made available to net- worth investors coming for urgent business and to visitors from countries without Nigerian consulates.
Although the procedure for business visa application has been simplified by the NIS to enable every individual foreigner to be able to process it without little or no outside assistance, however, any individual applicant seeking a guidance on the visa’s processing or encountering any challenge in the course of the application may contact a Nigerian immigration lawyer for an assistance.
Finally, it is worth of note that the business visa is not valid for employment purposes in Nigeria.
Written by Immigration Law Department at Resolution Law Firm, Nigeria