The Nigeria Visa Policy 2020 (NVP 2020 or the Policy) was officially presented by the President, Muhammadu Buhari on 4 February 2020. The Policy, designed to revolutionize the visa regime in Nigeria, adopted four (4) visa categories which were further expanded to seventy-nine (79) visa classes/types.
The NVP 2020 is intended to attract innovation, specialized skills and knowledge from abroad to support the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the country.
The summary of the four (4) visa categories and seventy-nine (79) classes/ types introduced under the Policy are:
|S/N||Visa Category||No of Visa Classes/Types|
|2||Short Visit Visas||24|
|3||Temporary Residence Visas||36|
|4||Permanent Residence Visas||15|
Further, the Policy introduced visa codes for each of the 79 visa classes for ease of reference and processing.
The other major highlights of the Policy include:
- Introduction of electronic Visa (e-Visa) and restructure of Visa-on-Arrival (VOA). While the e-Visa is a web-based/online application process that is subject to pre-approval, evidenced by the issuance of Travel Authorization Letter to the traveller before arrival in Nigeria; VOA is no longer subject to pre-approval but is now issued at the point of entry;
- VOA is available to nationals of African Union Member States for short visits generally, but only available for tourism purposes for all other countries;
- The issuance of visiting visas for family and friends to come to Nigeria is restricted to Nigerian embassies only;
- Automation of the Temporary Work Permit (TWP) application process through the e-Visa platform;
- Distinct visa class for Nigerians in the diaspora with dual citizenship, those who renounced their Nigerian citizenship and Nigerians by birth who use/hold the national passport of other countries.
The NVP 2020 is a welcome development that will bridge the gaps identified in previous policies, regulatory pronouncements and instruments.