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FG Replaces Emergency Travel Certificate With Electronic Temporary Passport; NIS Rolls out Visa on Arrival Application Process

The Federal Government on Tuesday 9th of March 2021, inaugurated an electronic Temporary Passport to replace the Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC), for effective identity management.

Speaking at the event in Abuja, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, explained that the Temporary Passport was an electronic document with all the features of a regular passport.

According to Mr. Aregbesola, the difference is that it is temporary and valid for one trip, and will be retrieved from the user at the entry point.

Rauf Aregbesola

“The Temporary Passport is ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) compliant and is valid for only 30 days.”

More so, The Comptroller-General of NIS, Muhammad Babandede, said that the temporary passport would be valid for 30 days from the day of issuance, adding that once you arrived in the country you cannot travel back with it.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, commended the federal government for the initiative, stating that it was a step in the right direction.

He added that with the temporary passport, there would be an organised, serialised and verifiable system of issuing the temporary document.

“This is a commendable achievement not just to the Nigerian Immigration Service but the country as a whole,” he said.

“Embassies have been complaining to us on our temporary passport which does not have a database or biometric features. This, however, has been a huge security threat to us and the host country.

“ It has enhanced our data system that means, it is connected to our data page and there is an end to end connectivity with what is captured and what is in our data page,” he said. 

Visa on Arrival Application Process

It is no longer news that in a bid to make immigration into the country easier and with a view to attracting foreign investments, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) launched an online Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) system. Visa on Arrival is a class of short visit visa issued at the port of entry.

The new immigration service allows for visa applications without having to visit a Nigerian mission and can be made online in any country. All prospective migrants have to do is register online with the Nigeria Immigration Service and provide travel itinerary, after which a letter of approval will be issued if the application is successful, and the visa would be collected on arrival in Nigeria.

It is for all Business Travelers and African Union Countries except ECOWAS member Countries. Since the launch of this VOA, visitors arriving Nigeria on the Visa on Arrival (VoA) programme will no longer be able to make cash payments. VoA fees are now to be paid using electronic cards at the ports of entry or online via the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) website. The Nigerian Immigration has automated its visa application and visa processing services at all entry points.

Accordingly, all visitors coming to Nigeria from these countries shall be required to follow the procedure below:

The VoA facility is available to two categories of travelers:

  1. Frequently traveled High Net Worth Investors with business interest in Nigeria.
  2. Citizens of African Countries.

Eligibility

  • Frequently travelled Business Persons of International Repute
  • Executives of Multi-national Companies
  • Members of Government Delegations
  • Holders of United Nations Laissez-Passer
  • Holders of African Union Laissez-Passer,
  • Holders of any other Official travel documents of other recognized International Organizations who intend to visit Nigeria.

Note: Visa on Arrival is available to citizens of all countries except ECOWAS Nationals who do not require visa to visit Nigeria and other countries which Nigeria has entered into visa abolition agreements.

 How to Apply for Visa on Arrival (Business Travelers)

Step 1: Apply and Make Payment online

  1. To begin your application, please visit the NIS portal. Click here Visa On Arrival
  2. Complete Application and make payments
  3. You will be required to upload the following original documents:
    1. Passport Photo
    2. Introduction/Application Letter
    3. Copy of Passport Data Page
    4. Copy of Airline Return Ticket
    5. Invitation Letter from Host Company
    6. Corporate Affairs Commission Certificate from Host Company, or in case of NGO’s a letter of Permission.

NB- Introduction/Application Letter should be addressed to The Comptroller General of Immigration, NIS HQ, Abuja. Stating the following:

  • 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
  1. Once application is submitted successfully, a printable receipt would be issued.
  2. The application would be processed, after which, an Approval confirmation and Approval letter would be sent to your email within 48hrs (2 working days).

Note: Successful online payment is not an approval. Applicant should not proceed to Nigeria until receipt of ‘Visa on Arrival Approval Letter’.

Step 2: Arrive at the Port of Entry and proceed for biometric enrolment, visa issuance and Immigration Clearance

Upon arrival at the Port of Entry, proceed to the desk marked ‘Visa on Arrival’ for biometric enrolment and issuance of entry Visa. Present the following documents at the Port of Entry:

  • Visa Approval Letter, valid for 14 days from the date of issuance
  • Evidence of online payment
  • Valid Passport with minimum of six months validity
  • Valid return ticket

How to Apply for Visa on Arrival (African Nationals)

Step 1: Apply and Make Payment online

  1. To begin your application, please visit the NIS portal. Click here Visa on Arrival
  2. Complete Application and make payments
  3. You will be required to upload the following original documents:
  4. Passport Photo
  5. Introduction/Application Letter
  6. Copy of Passport Data Page
  7. Copy of Airline Return Ticket

NB- Introduction/Application Letter should be addressed to The Comptroller General of Immigration, NIS HQ, Abuja. Stating the following:

  • 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
  1. Once application is submitted successfully, a printable receipt would be issued, with another copy sent to your email.
  2. The application would be processed, after which, an Approval confirmation and Approval letter would be sent to your email within 48hrs (2 working days).

Note: Successful online payment is not an approval. Applicant should not proceed to Nigeria until receipt of ‘Visa on Arrival Approval Letter’.

Step 2: Arrive at the Port of Entry and proceed for Biometric Enrolment, visa issuance and Immigration Clearance

Upon arrival at the Port of Entry, proceed to the desk marked ‘Visa on Arrival’ for Biometric Enrolment and issuance of entry Visa. Present the following documents in hard copy at the Port of Entry:

  • Visa Approval Letter (Pre-approved visa letter), valid for 14 days from the date of issuance
  • Evidence of online payment
  • Valid Passport with minimum of six months validity
  • Valid return ticket

The temporary passport is an electronic document with all the features of a regular passport but valid for one trip. It will be retrieved from the user at the entry point.

The temporary passport is International Civil Aviation Organisation -compliant and is valid for only 30 days.

“It is a replacement for the hitherto Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC) which was issued to Nigerians in emergency situations where their passports were not available and had need to travel to Nigeria,” Mr Aregbesola said.

“This new document is not a replacement for the Nigerian passport, it will only serve a temporary purpose in the case of loss or misplacement of the Nigerian passport by a Nigerian abroad.

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