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Nigeria Update: Guidelines for Visa Re-validation and Migrant Travels

Lynn Mackenzie, J.D., LLM

Courtesy of  Advocaat Law Practice

Upon resumption of international flights in Nigeria on September 5, 2020, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) issued guidelines for visa revalidation and migrant travels affected by the suspension of international flights and closure of airspace. The guidelines provide as follows:

  1. All migrants in Nigeria, whose Permit expired between March 23, 2020 to September 5, 2020 will upon presentation of their confirmed return tickets, be granted a free extension to enable them to depart the country on, or before September 15, 2020.
  2. All migrants in Nigeria, whose Permit or Visitors’ pass expired before March 23, 2020 will pay overstay penalty for the number of days stayed before the suspension of international flights and border closure, which commenced on March 23, 2020.
  3. All resident migrants whose residence permits expired, while outside the country from March 23, 2020 shall be allowed entry into Nigeria with the expired permit on or before September 25, 2020. These returning migrants are required to renew their residence permit within thirty (30) days of their arrival in Nigeria to avoid sanctions under the relevant Immigration laws.
  4. All migrants who processed payments for Visa on Arrival (VOA) and other categories of visas from the Nigerian Missions before March 23, 2020 are to apply for revalidation. A copy of the previous payment must be sent to; Cisevisa@immigration.gov.ng no later than September 15, 2020.
  5. All migrants who obtained VOA pre-approval Letters and other categories of visas from the Nigerian Missions before March 23, 2020, whose approvals/visas expired before September 5, 2020, are to also apply for revalidation. The revalidation process requires that copies of the expired pre-approval letters/visas be sent to cis-evisa@immigration.gov.ng not later than September 15, 2020. These categories of migrants will not be required to make fresh payments.
  6. VOA and e-Visa payment portals have been activated to enable intending migrants to Nigeria process entry visas as from September 5, 2020.
  7. Migrants who have obtained Temporary Work Permit (TWP) approval addressed to Missions that are closed for visa issuance should submit a complaint through cisevisa@immigration.gov.ng. The NIS will, upon receipt of the complaint, revert with appropriate options for visa issuance.
  8. All intending passengers are required to register via a Nigerian International Travel Portal online accessed through https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng/onboarding/guidelines.
  9. While on the portal, passengers are required to complete the ‘Health Declaration/SelfReporting’ form, upload COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test conducted in the country of departure and make payment for a repeat PCR test to be done upon arrival in Nigeria, with the options of where and when to carry out the test.

The content of this article is provided for general information purposes. The provision of this article does not constitute legal advice or opinion of any kind; no advisory or fiduciary relationship is created between Relocation Africa and any other person accessing or using this article. Relocation Africa will not be liable for any damages or loss arising from using any part of this article.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Nigeria Immigration Service Suspends Extra $110 Visa Fees

Recently, a new policy affecting foreigners entering the country with a Visa on Arrival was introduced at Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport. The new policy imposed an additional $90 on foreigners on arrival as Biometric Visa-On-Arrival charge and an additional $20 as processing fees. This newly imposed fee was regardless of the Visa Fees these foreigners must have paid in their respective countries before coming into Nigeria.

As expected there was a bit of chaos at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, on Monday when the policy was being implemented as the new immigration policy caught many foreigners arriving the country unawares. Some foreigners were forced to pay with their credit cards or contact their sponsor company in Nigeria to bear the cost. Some others were totally stranded as they weren’t granted access to the Immigration Counters till they paid the fees. It is quite surprising that even countries that had a reciprocity agreement with Nigeria exempting them from paying Visa Fees such as Mauritius, Dominica, Haiti, Fiji Island were equally not exempted from the payment of the fees.

It was gathered that concession of some of the services initially handled by the Immigration Service had been granted to private firms. The biometric visa-on arrival charges was being handled by Online Integrated Service (OIS) while the processing charge is being handled by New Works. This might have been the reason why the new policy lacked proper publicity. It was also gathered that the idea of imposing the biometric charges was borne out of reciprocity as some countries like the United Kingdom, United States of America, South Africa, Kenya and China were already imposing biometric charges on the citizens of Nigeria who travel into their countries.

In the light of the discontentment expressed by the foreigners and their representatives in Nigeria and a need for a wider publicity of the policy, the policy has been suspended. There may be a possibility that the policy will be resumed when it has been appropriately publicized but as it is now, foreigners can enter the country without paying additional visa fees in-country since they would have paid the necessary fees in their respective countries.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: Famsville Solicitors via Lexology [1]. Image sources: [1].

Nigerian President Signs Order Promoting Local Jobs

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed an executive order aimed at promoting local content.

“Presidential executive order 5 (EO5) for planning and execution of projects, promotion of Nigerian content in
contracts and science, engineering and technology” seeks to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components, and has been implemented with immediate effect.

EO5 has some impact on existing immigration practice:

  • It prohibits the Ministry of Interior from giving visas to foreign workers whose
    skills are readily available in Nigeria.
  • It, however, states that where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give
    preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan
    for indigenous development, prior to the award of such contracts.
  • Consideration shall only be given to a foreign professional, where it is certified by
    the appropriate authority that such expertise is not available in Nigeria.
 The implications of the executive order are as follows:
  • The application for the grant of Expatriate Quotas will be more rigorous. New
    guidelines are expected from the Federal Ministry of Interior.
  • The understudies requirement for expatriates will be closely monitored by the
    Federal Ministry of Interior (FMI) and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), to
    ensure compliance with extant laws
  • Registration with professional bodies has thus become a strict requirement.
  • Filing of monthly expatriate quota returns will be closely monitored.
  • It is expected that there will be more onsite visits and audits by the NIS.

Further guidelines and directives are expected from the Federal Ministry of Interior and Nigeria Immigration Service on the implementation of EO5.

Sources:  Famsville Solicitors, [2]. Image source: [1].

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.