The Nigeria Immigration Service has temporarily suspended the biometrics enrolment process and associated $90 charge for Visa on Arrival (VoA). The suspension only applies to the recently introduced biometrics enrolment aspect of the VoA policy. This was necessary following a report on Monday, 11 June 2018 that foreigners utilizing the VoA facility at the airport were being requested to make an additional payment of $90 for biometrics enrolment upon arrival as well as a $20 transaction charge. These additional payments are different from the applicable visa fees already paid online.
The suspension became necessary as the requisite implementation parameters for the biometrics enrolment, which include sensitizing the public and intended travellers as well as providing a justification for the process, were clearly not in place. The suspension took immediate effect as foreigners arriving subsequently were issued visas on arrival without biometrics enrolment or additional charges.
This is a laudable development in view of the efforts being made by the Federal Government to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria. The visa issuance process as well as any biometrics enrolment should be very seamless and hassle-free for foreigners. Such initiative needs to be properly communicated to the general public and the appropriate structures put in place before it is being rolled out. There is no indication when the suspension of the biometrics enrolment would be lifted. However, the steps for obtaining VoA have reverted to the standard process as specified below:
- Apply and obtain VoA approval from the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service
- Complete the online application and make payment for the applicable visa fees online
- Obtain entry visa upon arrival at the airport
We would continue to monitor this space and keep you informed of further developments.