What is the change? A Nigerian government council tasked with improving the business environment for foreign investment has issued three executive orders that require faster visa service and greater transparency from all government agencies.

What does the change mean? Under the orders, business and tourist visa applications must be processed by Nigerian consulates within 48 hours of submission. All government agencies must publish a list of the criteria and processing times for permits they are responsible for issuing, and if they fail to meet the processing times the permit will be deemed approved by default. A complete list of requirements and timeframes for visas on arrival will be published on government websites.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Business and tourist visas, visas on arrival, all types of work permits and other government-issued permits.
  • Who is affected: All applicants seeking visas or permits to Nigeria.
  • Impact on processing times: Business and tourist visa applications must be processed within 48 hours.
  • Business impact: If followed, the orders will clarify requirements, including fees and processing timelines, and expedite issuance of visas and permits.

Background: The executive orders were issued May 18 by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, which is led by the country’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo. Business and tourist visas must be granted or denied within 48 hours, and processing times for visas on arrival must be published. If government agencies fail to respond to an application within their own processing deadlines, the application is deemed to be approved by default.

BAL Analysis: The orders are aimed at increasing transparency, reducing corruption and facilitating business travel and foreign investment. They are consistent with recent efforts to introduce visas on arrival to all nationals and expand permitted business activities of business visitors.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Nigeria. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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