How to Apply for and Renew a Visa to Nigeria

La Campagne Tropicana, Lekki, Lagos
La Campagne Tropicana, Lekki, Lagos | © Wakanow / Flickr
Whether you’re visiting Nigeria for work or pleasure, you’ll need a visa – and should you choose to prolong your visit, you’ll need an extension or renewal of the same document. Here’s our need-to-know guide to the steps and processes you need to follow.
International Airport in Lagos © Afromusing / Flickr

An overview of the Nigerian visa

When you’re applying for a visa to Nigeria, your passport must be valid for at least six months from the scheduled expiry of the visa, and one blank page must be made available for the Nigerian stamp. First, you will need to apply online at the Nigerian immigration portal and complete the visa application form.

After the online form is completed, the required fees have to be paid online via approved credit cards. Cash payments for visas are prohibited by the Nigerian Immigration Service. Passports/visas can be collected at the Nigerian embassy or consulate. The processing of visas may take two to fifteen or more days, depending on the consulate the application will be sent to. However, general processing time for a Nigerian visa is three to five days.

To extend any type of visa, visitors and tourists are expected to apply for extension at the Nigerian immigration after staying 56 days in the country and pay fees commensurate with the number of days of extension.

Unless you’re from one of the countries on this list, you will need to apply for a visa to enter Nigeria.

The Nigerian Flag © Jake Brown / Flickr

Applying for the right type of visa

Tourist/visitor visas

Tourist and visitor visas to Nigeria are valid for three months. To apply for a visa, you will need:

-A passport valid for at least six months from the scheduled expiry of the visa

-A completed visa application form

-Two recent passport size photographs

-A Letter of Invitation from a company/host in Nigeria accepting immigration responsibility

-To demonstrate the purpose of your visit, as well as an intention to return to your country of residence. This can be shown through evidence of a holiday booking and a valid return/onward travel ticket

-Visitors/tourists are required to show evidence of sufficient funds

-A Nigeria Immigration Service Visa Payment Receipt and a Visa Acknowledgement Receipt

-The fees for the different entry options can be found here, and payment is taken by credit card

Business visa

Business travelers can be granted visas to attend meetings, conferences, or other business activities. The conditions that apply to tourist visas also apply to business visas, but self-sponsored business people may not require a Letter of Invitation, although they will be required to show evidence of sufficient funds.

La Campagne Tropicana, Lekki, Lagos © Wakanow / Flickr

Temporary Work Permit (TWP)

Those applying to work in Nigeria for a period of time will require:

-A passport with at least six months’ validity

-A printed copy of completed application form for visitors’ pass

-Two recent passport size photographs

-A copy of the Letter of Approval from Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service

Subject to Regularization (STR)

This visa is issued primarily based on the availability of quota, especially in the case of private organizations. The visa is issued on request by sponsoring organizations and individual investors coming to Nigeria to reside in the country. It requires:

-A passport with at least six months’ validity

-A completed visa form in quadruplicate with four recent passport photographs

-Four copies of a letter of Expatriate Quota Approval from Ministry of Interior

-Four copies of credentials, certificates and curriculum vitae, all vetted by a relevant official from the Nigerian High Commission/Embassy (English Certified translated copy where applicable)

-Four copies of an Offer of Employment Letter

-Four copies of a Letter of Acceptance of Employment, signed by the expatriate

-A Nigeria Immigration Service Visa Payment Receipt and a Visa Acknowledgement Receipt

Abuja Sheraton © Jeff Attaway / Flickr

Important things to keep in mind

Make sure you have sufficient funds and obtain local currency when you arrive. You can exchange US dollars for Nigeria currency at the airport, where you will find bureau de change offices. USD$1 is approximately N365, but you can check online for current exchange rates at the time you arrive.

Make prior arrangements for your accommodation and book a hotel for at least for the first few days of your stay.

If coming from a yellow fever zone, bring along your yellow fever vaccination card as you may need to show it at the port of entry. Visitors from temperate regions may bring along mosquito nets, insecticides and anti-malaria drugs (or buy them on arrival) to avoid mosquito bites and prevent malaria.

If you are visiting a location outside Lagos, check online to see if flights are available to the part of the country you are going to. You can decide this before you arrive; international flights arrive in Lagos or Abuja, therefore check the proximity of your destination to either of these two places before booking your flight to Nigeria.

If you are visiting a National Park or a cultural site, it is best to arrange a car hire service with your hotel. You can also arrange for a local guide (preferably with a reputable travel agency) to take you around.

As a safety precaution, it’s not always the best idea to ask directions from random people when you go out, so be sure to ask questions at your hotel desk to be fully informed.