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FG Eases Immigration Processes for Business and Tourism

The Federal Government has reviewed visa processes for foreigners who wish to visit Nigeria for business and tourism purposes, with a view to removing bureaucratic bottlenecks and encourage business travellers and tourists, to give the economy a boost.

In a statement signed by Segun Adeyemi the Special Assistant to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the measure is part of the Federal Government’s action plan to ease doing business in Nigeria as well as efforts to boost tourism, within the overall context of the Administration’s economic diversification agenda.

The Minister said the Nigeria Immigration Service has reviewed requirements for Nigerian visas to make them more customer friendly, and that details of the review are available on the Nigeria Immigration Service’s official website, www.immigration.gov.ng. The statement added that the type of visas currently reviewed include Visa on Arrival processes, Business Visas, Tourist Visas and Transit Visas.

The statement further explained that Business Visas are available for foreigners who wish to travel to Nigeria for Meetings, Conferences, Seminars, Contract Negotiation, Marketing, Sales, Purchase and distribution of Nigerian Goods, Trade Fairs, Job Interviews, Training of Nigerians, Emergency/Relief work, Crew members, Staff of NGOs, Staff of INGOs, Researchers and Artists.

The Minister said Tourist Visas are also available to foreign travelers who wish to visit Nigeria for the purpose of tourism or to visit family and friends while Nigeria Visa on Arrival is a class of short visit visa issued at the port of entry, and it is available to frequently-travelled High-Net-Worth Investors and intending visitors who may not be able to obtain visa at the Nigerian Missions or Embassies in their countries of residence due to the absence of a Nigerian mission in Such countries or exigencies of urgent travel needs.

The Minister added that other actions that have been taken by the NIS for the ease of doing business and facilitation of travelling for Nigerians and foreigners alike include the harmonization of multiplicity of Airport Arrival and Departure Form/Cards into a single form for all agencies of government to save foreign visitors from the current frustrating practice of filling 3 different forms or more and the decentralization of Immigration services to the State Commands.

On Re-issuance of passports for change of names due to marital reasons or lost cases the NIS have been decentralized to all State Commands and Foreign Missions to save passport holders from additional costs and inconvenience of travelling to the Service Headquarters in Abuja, while additional 28 offices have been opened for issuance of Residence Permits in Nigeria, bringing the issuance of Combined Expatriate Residence Permit And Aliens Cards closer to the doorstep of employers of expatriates at all 36 states and Federal Capital Territory.

This measures the Minister said fit perfectly into the 60-day national action plan for ease of doing business in Nigeria as approved recently by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), as well as the Administration’s efforts to boost international tourism.

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