What is the change? Nigeria has expanded the availability of visas on arrival and broadened the list of activities permitted for both visas on arrival and consular business visas.

What does the change mean? Effective immediately, foreign nationals from countries that do not have a Nigerian embassy will be eligible to obtain visas on arrival at a port of entry. Activities that will be permitted on a visa on arrival or consular business visa include not only attending meetings, conferences and seminars (as was previously permitted), but also negotiating contracts; conducting sales, job interviews, training or research; purchasing and distributing Nigerian goods; attending trade fairs; and participating in emergency or relief work.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visas on arrival, consular business visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals traveling to Nigeria for the business purposes described above, including those whose home country does not have a Nigerian embassy.
  • Impact of processing times: The change will save some business travelers the time it takes to apply for and obtain a business visa prior to travel.

Background: The changes to the visa rules for foreign business travelers and investors are part of the Nigeria Immigration Service’s 60-day “action plan” to make it easier to do business in Nigeria.  

BAL Analysis: While Nigeria has expanded the list of activities permitted on visas on arrival and consular business visas, business travelers or foreign investors should make sure the activity they intend to pursue in Nigeria is permitted for the type of visa they hold or plan to obtain. Those with questions about what type of visa is best for their particular activity should consult with BAL before traveling to Nigeria.

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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