The Nigeria Visa on Arrival (VoA) program is open to US and UK citizens, as well as citizens of all nationalities that require a visa to enter Nigeria. The VoA program has been on for well over a year now, much to the relief of visitors to Nigeria, especially those from the United States who normally go through a rigorous, costly, time-wasting visa processing exercise. This explains why most people prefer getting the visa on arrival.
The visa on arrival program means that you can travel to Nigeria and get a visa at the port of entry (airport of arrival), without having to go through any visa application exercise in your country of residence.
Who qualifies for Nigeria Visa on Arrival (VoA)?
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) specifies that you must belong to any of the following classes of people to qualify for a Nigeria visa on arrival:
- Frequently traveled business persons
- Executives of multi-national companies
- Members of government delegations
- Holders of United Nations Laissez-Passer
- Holders of African Union Laissez-Passer
- Holders of ECOWAS Laissez-Passer,
- Holders of any other Official travel documents of other recognized International Organizations who intend to visit Nigeria.
So, if you meet any of the above requirements, you qualify to apply for a Nigeria visa on arrival.
The only tricky and perhaps most important thing with the Nigerian visa on arrival program is that, you must apply for and get an approval letter from the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) before traveling. Without the approval documents, you will be denied the visa at the port of entry and sent back to your country at the next available flight.
How to Apply for Nigeria Visa on Arrival (VoA)
While anyone can apply for the visa on arrival (VoA) on their own by sending a mail to the Nigeria Immigration Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), your chances of getting an approval are very slim unless you work with a travel agency with close links to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
To directly apply for the visa on arrival approval from the Nigeria Immigration Service, then send a mail to the Comptroller General with the following details:
- Name of Applicant indicating Nationality
- Passport number of Applicant
- Purpose of visit
- Proposed date of visit
- Proposed port of entry
- Flight itinerary
- Address in Nigeria or Hotel Reservation
In addition to the above details, you must attach a copy of your passport data page and flight itinerary. Your flight itinerary should include the return ticket. Note that you don’t necessarily need to book a flight first, an itinerary is accepted.
If your application is accepted, you will be communicated via email with the visa on arrival approval letter within two business days (48 hours). If you don’t get a correspondence from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in this period, it is very likely that your application is not approved.
What to do when your visa on arrival application is not approved
If you have applied for the Nigeria visa on arrival approval letter without success, well, hope is not all lost. 97% of people (including US and UK citizens) who apply for the visa on arrival approval letter on their own don’t get it. Your best shot at getting an approval letter is to work with a representative in Nigeria with very strong ties with Nigeria Immigration.
Here is how to get your Nigeria visa on arrival approval letter in 48 hours or less. Yes, it is going to cost you a token to facilitate the approval through an agency, but it is a sure and guaranteed way to get your approval letter.
If you have exigent need to travel to Nigeria, then using a trusted travel company in Nigeria as your representative to process your visa on arrival is well worth it, as the cost of delay might be a lot more.
If you want to fast-track and get your Nigeria visa on arrival, you only need to contact Destinali with a copy of your passport data page and flight itinerary. This way, you are guaranteed to get your VoA approval letter.
What next after getting VoA approval letter?
After getting your visa on arrival approval letter, you can now travel to Nigeria where you will be issued a visa at the port of entry. You will be required to pay the actual visa fees applicable to your country.
You can process the visa application and pay the fee online on the Nigeria Immigration website. This is not compulsory, as you can travel and make the visa payment at the port of entry in Nigeria.
The most crucial thing though is to first get your visa on arrival approval letter. You will be required to take along a hard copy of the letter and two recent passport photographs.