Obtaining the entry visa to Nigeria is not difficult. However, to get the work permit, the residence permit (subject to regularization) and citizenship is a complex task.
Several foreigners are living illegally in Nigeria, don’t do that, please. Sometimes foreigners legalise their residence situation through marrying. Marrying without love is the worst step, not only in Nigeria but anywhere, I have seen so many tragical cases.
Entry visa to Nigeria
Most of the foreign travellers need an entry visa to be able to visit Nigeria. You can also pick your Nigerian entry visa at the airport upon arrival. However, the first step is to check the relevant Nigerian Embassy’s webpage and obtain all the information. For Nigerian citizens, it is challenging to visit the developed countries and regularly they need a registered invitation letter to be able to visit foreign countries. The situation is the same for you. You need to show a reason to visit Nigeria and the best option to start the process is to get an invitation letter.
Practical steps of obtaining the Nigerian entry visa:
- You must fill in the visa application form
- You need to set up a visa interview with the Embassy or Consulate of Nigeria
- Pay the visa fee
- At the appointed time, appear at the embassy for the visa interview
- Within two days, call the Embassy to ask for the answer.
- Visit the Embassy and stamp the visa in your passport.
- Important! Make sure the details on the visa are accurate before leaving the Embassy!
Nigerian entry visa types:
- Temporary work permit
- Subject to regularization (residence permit)
Other categories can be only interesting if you are a Nigerian citizen, or a family member, a descendant, etc.
Important: If you receive the visa it does not mean automatically that you can enter in Nigeria, the border guards can overwrite your entrance permit.
You can personally submit the entry visa application, or you can ask someone to do that for you. In some cases, the Embassy or Consulate issue the Nigerian entry visa without an interview, so if you are lucky, you can get it without visiting the Embassy. You will have to arrange your visa in time (it takes 48 hours to issue the Nigerian entry visa) but don’t start the process earlier than two months before travelling to Nigeria.
You should apply for the Nigerian entry visa at the responsible Embassy or Consulate. For example, the Embassy in Budapest only deals with applicants from Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia. Another crucial piece of information is that you can’t work under a tourist visa because you are not allowed.
Corruption in Nigeria:
Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Do not be surprised if you meet this phenomenon, I warned you.
You can find the official visa fees by clicking here.
For example, in my case, a single entry tourist visa and the business visa will cost US$ 50. As I picked it up at the airport, I had to pay more US$ 70, and this amount can be paid only by card.
Who can get a work permit in Nigeria?
Contrary to the strict text of the law, anyone who is invited by a company to work. Of course, it does not matter if you are highly educated and you can prove this.
Nigeria Temporary Work Permit – TWP
- Visa application form filled in
- Two passport photos
- Corporate letter of invitation (can be from an NGO, non-profit or other organisation) that includes full responsibility
- Passport copy
- Health booklet
- Plane ticket reservation
- Documents of the invitation company
- You have to pay the visa fee
- Home address verification
- Seafaring book (only for sailors)
Each copy must be submitted in duplicate.
Subject to Regularization – STR
Subject to regularization, which is, in fact, the residence permit, so it is the category of obtainable visa and residence permit that can be used to live in Nigeria.
Who can get STR?
In short, I would register a company, and as a business owner I would employ myself, but I will explain it immediately.
Officially, the following persons may apply to settled status in Nigeria in advance:
Employees of foreign companies and their family members, international students, missionaries, researchers, non-governmental organisations and their family members, and employees of the FTAs and their families.
Which documents are required to obtain an STR visa?
- STR visa official invitation letter
- Proof of the access to the foreign worker’s quota (!), verified by a countersigned copy
- Three visa application form
- Three passport photos
- Passport Copy
- Copy of work contract
- School qualifications in English translation and validated by Apostille or by your Foreign Ministry
- Documents of the company from Nigeria
- Plane ticket reservation
- Copies of previous Nigerian visas
- Receipt of paid-up visa fees
All the necessary documents must be submitted in triplicate.
The Nigerian “Subject to Regularization” residence permit, if all necessary documents are submitted, should be issued within five days.
You can find the official site of the Nigerian Immigration Service here.
Cost of the Nigerian residence permit and its extension
The various official visa fees are in the 100-1000 nairas band. When writing this article, the Nigerian Naira exchange rate was: 1 EUR/415 naira and 1 USD/363 naira. The acquisition of the foreign expat quota, which is the permit of the foreign employee to immigrate costs 50,000 nairas.
Practical help for Nigerian immigration:
So, I think the most straightforward solution is to form a company with a Nigerian citizen, who may act as a shareholder, a director or a secretary. Then the company invites you through a temporary work permit or the STR. In both cases, it is necessary to pay for the extension, but this amount can be paid in advance for several years. Practically, it is better to renew it annually, and the cost is a couple of thousand nairas.
Obtaining Nigerian citizenship and passport
To obtain the Nigerian nationality (citizenship) you will have to go through a lengthy process, and it is a quite difficult task to acquire the Nigerian passport. Among the ECOWAS countries, there are jurisdictions, where I can get a passport for you through a presidential decision by post. However, Nigeria’s naturalisation law is different. There is more than one way to get the citizenship, but even the most straightforward option takes more than 15 years. Also, it would help if you spoke at least 2-3 local languages.
Can I help your immigration process in Nigeria?
Yes. I work with the immigration of wealthy (HNWI) Nigerians to other countries, to get them residence permits and citizenships through investment. However, our partner office in Lagos delivers local immigration services as well. If you need a Nigerian visa or residence permit for your business, please ask for a consultation HERE because we should discuss your options before I could offer you a quote for the whole service.
Are you interested in visiting or moving to another African country? You can read here about: Botswana immigration, residency by investment program, work permit and citizenship