Touring in Nigeria: Travel toolkit

An information resource for musicians planning travel to Nigeria for the purpose of touring and peformance.

For a non-Nigerian artiste planning to travel to Nigeria for a tour, the most fundamental issue to resolve is that of Immigration. Nigeria operates a stringent Immigration policy and a lot of stress, money and time is saved by ensuring that these rules are known and complied with. The rules vary depending on where you are coming from. This being that like many countries, subject to International agreements, the rules will differ, depending on the country. We shall take a look at the main categories:

Visitors from West Africa.

Visitors from West African countries are exempt from visa requirements, as a result of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreement. Thus free movement is guaranteed across West Africa for all persons holding passports of countries with membership of ECOWAS.

Visitors from other countries

Visitors from other countries require a visa to enter Nigeria. The forms of visa available are:

  • Tourist visa’s, for those travelling to Nigeria purely on vacation. An application is required to be made at the Nigerian Embassy or High Commission in your country of residence. The procedure involves firstly logging on to the website of the Embassy in your country and filling in an online application form. Once the form is completed, you are required to print it out and on the date at which you obtain an appointment for submission, take the form, two passport photographs and supporting documents and the payment to the Embassy. The fee will depend on the country at which you reside. An absolute requirement however is that your passport must have at least 6 months validity. The supporting documents necessarily include a letter of invitation and proof of income. At the Embassy, the application will be considered and once successful, a visa will be issued. The standard process takes several weeks, occasioned by long waiting times, however on payment of an express fee, it can be concluded in 24 hours.                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Business Visa's: This category is usually for businessmen, such investors. The procedure above is also duplicated, however one would be required to show mainly proof of sufficient funds for the purpose of the visit. A letter of Invitation is not required.                                                               
  • A Subject to Regularization (STR)/Employment Visa. This is a visa given to those visiting Nigeria for employment, of which regularisation is still outstanding, but which will be concluded whilst in Nigeria. The requirements are Passport with at least 6 months validity.A Completed visa form in quadruplicate with four recent passport photographs; four copies of letter of Expatriate Quota Approval from Ministry of Interior; four copies of credentials, certificates and curriculum vitae, all vetted by a relevant official of Nigerian High Commission/Embassy (English Certified translated copy where applicable); Four copies of letter of offer of employment; four copies of letter of acceptance of employment and a receipt of on-line payment of Visa fee.                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Temporary Work Permit: This would probably be the most relevant to an artiste planning a tour of Nigeria. This category permits a person to visit Nigeria for a short stay to work, of which a Concert tour for a fee-payment would be classified under. The requirements for this visa are: a Passport with at least 6 months validity; a printed copy of completed application form for visitors pass; two recent passport size photographs and a cabled copy of the Nigerian Comptroller General of Immigration Service's approval. (the Head of the Nigerian Immigration Service). As well as payment of an application fee.

These in summary are the broad Immigration requirements for a visit to Nigeria. A more detailed body of Information is contained on the various websites of Nigerian Embassies across the globe. However a centralised body of Information can be found on the website of the Nigerian Immigration Service.

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