NIGERIA: Increased Availability of Business Visas on Arrival and Expansion of Business Visitors Activities
As part of a national effort to boost the economy and facilitate business visitor travel to Nigeria, the Nigerian Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) approved a 60-day national action plan on March 2, 2017. Effective immediately, Nigeria has significantly expanded the type of activities permitted by business visitors and the eligibility requirements for visas on arrival for all nationalities.
Nigerian Business Visa on Arrival Open to All Nationalities
Business visas on arrival are now available for all nationalities. However, prior to traveling, a pre-approval request must be made with the Nigerian Comptroller General of Immigration (CGI). The pre-approval notice is sent directly to the applicant by email, which allows the applicant to complete an online application and pay the visa fee online. Upon arrival into the country, the traveler will need to present a copy of the pre-approval notice and proof of payment.
Expanded Activities Authorized for Business Visitors to Nigeria
Business travel activities have now been expanded beyond merely the participation in business meetings to include the following additional activities: contract negotiations, marketing, sales, purchase and distribution of goods, participation in trade fairs, research, emergency work, work as crew members, or work for organizations registered as non-governmental (NGO) or international non-governmental (INGO) in Nigeria. The new action plan also allows business visitors to provide training in Nigeria. Prior to this change, foreign nationals were required to apply for a Temporary Work Permit (TWP) to provide training in Nigeria or engage in any form of productive work.
The goal of this new program is to facilitate the entry of specialized foreign citizens to train Nigerian nationals and address urgent emergency work in the wake of recent unrest and famine. Business visas can generally be acquired more quickly than a TWP and may be issued for multiple entries, whereas TWPs may only be issued for one a single entry. This means that rotators or frequent travelers should not have to apply for multiple, successive single-entry TWPs under the new policy.
Foster will continue to monitor changes to Nigerian immigration laws impacting business travel and work assignments and will make information about further developments available in future Immigration Updates© and on our firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.