Nigeria – Covid-19 – Immigration update

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Update: September 15th, 2020

Guidelines for visa revalidation, permits, travel announced

What is the change?

Nigeria recently announced guidelines for visa revalidation, permits and travel following the resumption of flights.

Key points:

  • Foreign nationals in Nigeria with work/residence permits and visas that expired from March 23 to Sept. 5 will be granted free extensions when they present confirmed return air travel tickets. The free extensions will allow them to exit Nigeria before or on Sept. 15.
  • Foreign nationals in Nigeria on work/residence permits or visitor passes that expired before March 23 will pay an overstay penalty for the number of days they were in the country before the suspension of international flights and border closure on March 23.
  • Foreign national residents who have work/residence permits that expired from March 23 while they were outside Nigeria are allowed to return with their expired permits before or on Sept. 25. They are required to renew their permits within 30 days of arriving in Nigeria. If they fail to renew them, they will be subject to sanctions.
  • Foreign nationals who paid for visa on arrival and other visa services from the Nigerian missions before March 23 are required to apply for revalidation. They must apply by submitting a copy of their payment to cis-evisa@immigration.gov.ng before Sept. 16.
  • Foreign nationals with expired visa on arrival pre-approval letters or visas who secured them from the Nigerian missions before March 23 can apply for revalidation for free. They can do this by submitting copies of them to cis-evisa@immigration.gov.ng before Sept. 16.
  • Visa on arrival and e-visa payments portals were made available Sept. 5 for foreign nationals who wish to apply for visa on arrival and e-visas.
  • Foreign nationals with approval for a temporary work permit from missions that are not issuing visas should send a message to cis-evisa@immigration.gov.ng. The Nigerian Immigration Service will revert with appropriate options for visa issuance.
  • Inbound travelers must register on the Nigerian International Travel portal here: https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng/onboarding/guidelines. They must also do the following when registering:
    • Complete a Health Declaration/Self-Reporting form.
    • Upload a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test certificate from a test conducted in the country of departure.
    •  Pay for a second PCR test to be conducted in Nigeria. This last step must include the location and date of the test.

Nigeria permitted international flights to resume Sept. 5.

The new guidelines on visa revalidation, permits and travel provide important information to those who will be entering or departing Nigeria.

Update: August 28th, 2020

Resumption of international flights postponed

What is the change?

Nigeria have postponed plans to resume international flights until Sept. 5.

Key Points:

  • International flights were first suspended in March, with exceptions in place for essential and diplomatic flights. Nigeria recently announced that international flights will resume on Aug. 29, but officials pushed that date back this week.
  • Commercial air travel is now scheduled to resume at international airports in Abuja and Lagos on Sept. 5. Additional information is expected soon, but it is likely that under the principle of reciprocity, carriers from countries that ban flights from Nigeria will not be permitted to land in Nigeria.

The resumption of international flights may allow employers to send employees into and out of Nigeria, though little information is available at this point about what procedures and protocols may be in place when flights resume.

Update: April 16th, 2020

Pandemic lockdown extended and approval of extension fee waiver

What is the change?

Nigeria has extended the COVID-19 lockdown for another 14 days to mitigate the spread of the disease.

The authorities have approved the waiver of extension fees for visitor/migrants affected by the travel ban and closure of the international airports in Nigeria.

Key Points

  • Effective April 13, for 14 days, Abuja, Lagos and Ogun remain under lockdown.
  • The original lockdown was declared on March 30, for 14 days. The recent lockdown extension keeps restrictions from it in place. Abuja, Lagos and Ogun remain covered by the lockdown, meaning businesses there are closed, except for essential services. Interstate travel also remains suspended. In March, airports were closed to international flights and visa-on-arrival was suspended
  • All visitors/migrants holding valid visas/residence permit with confirmed return tickets to travel out of Nigeria within the period covered by the travel restrictions are to be issued relevant extensions at no cost. Such persons are expected to reschedule their flights and travel within one week of relaxing the restriction.
  • Conversely, migrants whose permit/visas expired prior to the travel restrictions would pay the penalty for overstay up to the commencement date of the travel ban.

Employers should anticipate significant disruptions to employee mobility and all but essential business. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

Update: March 31th, 2020

Government imposes internal travel restrictions

What is the change?

Nigeria has imposed internal travel restrictions in addition to the strict international restrictions imposed last week.

Key Points

  • Effective on March 30, for 14 days, the cities of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun are under lockdown.
  • All businesses and offices in the above cities are to remain closed.
  • Interstate travel is suspended.

The new restrictions follow a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Abuja and Lagos. Last week, the government closed airports to international flights and suspended visa on arrival issuance.

Employers should anticipate significant disruptions to employee mobility and all but essential business. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop.

Update: March 26th, 2020

Government updates travel, visa restrictions

What is the change?

The government has announced further travel and immigration restrictions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions are in force for the next four weeks.

Key Points

  • As of March 23, all airports are closed to international flights.
  • Issuance of visas on arrival and Temporary Work Permits is suspended
  • Immigration offices remain open for in-country services, though there may be delays.

Last week, Nigeria suspended visas on arrival for travelers from countries deemed high risk for COVID-19.

Although the international flight ban is initially in force for four weeks, employers and affected foreign national employees should anticipate that it may be extended and that further restrictions may be imposed.

Update: March 20th, 2020

Visa on arrival suspended for nationals of 13 countries

What is the change?

Visas on arrival will be suspended for four weeks for nationals of 13 countries to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Key Points

  • As of March 21, visas on arrival will be suspended for travelers from China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • All travelers returning to Nigeria from any of the above countries must undergo supervised isolation for 14 days.

Although the visa-on-arrival suspension is initially in force for four weeks, employers and affected foreign national employees should anticipate that it may be extended. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

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