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New Visa Policy (Lagos)

On 4 January Protected content Muhammadu Buhari introduced the Nigeria Visa Policy Protected content . According to the president, the policy is intended to attract innovation, specialised skills and knowledge to complement and improve the country's local capacity in order to support the attainment of a globally competitive economy and reflect international best practices.

The policy is an upward review of the previous visa policy issued in Protected content . It introduces three visa categories and their respective visa codes, expanding the number of visa classes from six to 79, and provides for countries that are visa exempt.

The policy also introduces the electronic visa (e-visa) in addition to visas obtained via the previous application processes (eg, at embassies or visa application centres or on arrival). E-visas can be obtained via an online application process and are subject to pre-approval before arriving in Nigeria.

This article provides a summary of the various visa categories.(1)

Visa-free and exempt countries

The policy states that individuals from the following member states and countries do not require a visa to enter Nigeria:

Economic Community of West African States member states (F1A);
Visa Abolition Agreement countries (F1B);
Visa Waiver for International Organisations members (F1C); and
Reciprocity Visa Waiver Agreement countries (F1D).
Visa categories

The following visa categories cover countries that are not visa-free or exempt states:

short-visit visas (SVVs);
temporary residence visas (TRVs); and
permanent residence visas (PRVs).
SVVs apply to individuals who intend to travel to Nigeria for a period not exceeding three months to visit or perform a specific purpose. SVVs are divided into 24 classes under the policy.(2)

TRVs apply to individuals who intend to reside in Nigeria to take up employment for a period not exceeding two years. TRVs are divided into 36 classes under the policy.(3)

PRVs apply to specific individuals who intend to reside in Nigeria permanently. PRVs are divided into 15 classes under the policy.(4)

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