Nigeria is the biggest black nation. This West African country offers so much by way of cultural diversity, and the economic opportunities in Nigeria are still attractive; drawing in people from all over the world. Nigeria still has very many US citizens in the country; some of whom are engaged in oil exploration and marketing, financial services, technology, real estate, shipping, and so many other sectors of the economy.
Nigeria has several visa tenures depending on the length of stay, or the business that the applicant wishes to pursue in Nigeria. For the sake of clarity let us state that there is some restriction on travel as advised by the US government, but that is mostly because of security concerns. The Nigerian government continues to issue visas to US citizens, who wish to visit for business, work, or pleasure.
There are several enquiries about the length of stay; many people specifically want to know how long they can stay in Nigeria as US citizens.
How Long Can an American Citizen Stay in Nigeria?
The length of stay of Nigeria Visa to Americans varies, between 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years depending on the type of visa gotten.
Length of Stay of Nigeria Visa to Americans
Single Entry Visa
Length of Stay: 6 months.
Multiple Entry Visa
Length of Stay: 1 year.
Multiple Entry Visa
Length of Stay: 2 years.
However, your stay can be extended with a Temporary Work Permit (TWP) in which case the government is giving you permission to stay in the country to work. During the course of your employment, you will not be harassed.
You can also get Subject To Regularization, which is a documentation stating your intention to reside permanently in Nigeria to pursue your work or business. With this documentation, the government of Nigeria will put your name on the list of foreign nationals who will be offered citizenship status. Of course, several factors will be considered, including your tax history, criminal record, and contributions to Nigerian society.
Costs of Visas to Nigeria for Americans
Of course, visa to Nigeria is not free. The fees received by the Nigeria Immigration Service constitute a part of the revenue generated and utilized by the Nigerian government, and so US citizens intending to gain entry into the country need to pay the following fees for their visa application.
Single Entry Visa: USD 160
Multiple Entry Visa: USD 160
Multiple Entry Visa: USD 160
Please do not pay cash to anybody with the promise of receiving a visa to Nigeria. All payments are processed electronically at the Nigeria Immigration Service portal. Please go online to apply and pay for your Nigerian visa.
Furthermore, please take note that the payment does not guarantee a successful visa application; you still need to undergo a successful interview at the Nigerian Embassy in the United States before you can be issued with a visa.
What do you need to get a Nigeria Visa?
There are basically two types of visas offered by the Nigerian government; they are tourist visas and business visas. There is very little separating the two types of visas- we will spell them out and what you need to get them.
Tourist visas are those issued to visitors who come into Nigeria to pursue leisure activities, or just to take time off from the hustle and bustle of their daily life. You will need a few things to get this:
You need a receipt for the visa application payment.
You need to have a US Passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your visa application date.
You need to have a completed visa application form.
You need to have two recent passport-size photographs of yourself.
You need to have evidence to show that you have sufficient funds to cover the costs of your stay, and leisure activities.
Business visas are those issued to people who are coming into the country to pursue economic opportunities of which there are many in Nigeria. In order to get a business visa to Nigeria you will need the following:
You need to show the Receipt of payment of the Visa fee.
You need to show a completed visa application form.
You need to show two recent passport size photographs of yourself.
You need to show that you have enough money to do business.
Temporary Work Permit (TWP) and Subject to Regularization:
In order to get a Temporary Work Permit, or a Subject to Regularization document which are more permanent documents that can enable you to stay for longer periods of time in Nigeria you will need the following:
You will need a US Passport with 6 months to run.
You will also need to have a completed application form.
You will need to provide two recent passport photos.
You will also need a Letter of Approval from the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service.
For Subject To Regularization, you will need to have your documents, accompanied by your Curriculum Vitae vetted by the US embassy in Nigeria.
You will need documentation from the Ministry of Interior.
What Else Do You Need?
As a US citizen in Nigeria, you will also need to take care to ensure that you have the following in order to facilitate a safe and pleasurable stay in Nigeria.
If you are visiting for leisure: you will need to ensure that you book a safe hotel. Please ensure that you have sufficient funds. Your international debit cards (visa and MasterCard, etc) will prove invaluable.
If you are travelling for business:
Please ensure that you liaise with the US embassy so as to receive information about what parts of Nigeria are considered unsafe.
Please make adequate preparations for your accommodation, transportation, security, and so on. There are private security outfits, as well as police escorts available.
What is the Stance of the US government?
The US government generally advises against travel to Nigeria at this time, but this is largely as a result of the country’s security challenges. There are many US citizens living and working in Nigeria.
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Because Nigeria is eager to receive foreign exchange and to get more investments from outside, there is generally no problem with securing a visa. Please note that payments of the visa fees do not guarantee visa procurement. Please ensure that you show up on the date of your visa interview, and if you are unable to attend the interview on the stated date, please ensure that you inform the authorities beforehand. Please write email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and give them your application id and reference number.