By Adedayo Akinwale
The federal government has commenced visa processing on a reciprocity basis for applicants from countries that have reopened their international airspace and have begun issuing visas to Nigerian applicants.
The Consulate General of Nigeria in South Africa confirmed this development in a statement issued yesterday, saying the federal government has granted payment waivers to certain categories of visitors/migrants affected by travel restrictions introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said: “The Consulate General of Nigeria, Johannesburg, wishes to announce the recommencement of visa processing, on Reciprocity Basis, for applicants from countries that have reopened their international airspace and have begun issuing visas to Nigerian applicants. In this regard, the federal government of Nigeria has granted payment waivers to certain categories of visitors/migrants affected by travel restrictions introduced during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“All visitors/migrants whose permits expired from March 23 to September 5, 2020, should provide evidence of confirmed return tickets scheduled to travel out of Nigeria to obtain a free extension to depart on or before September 15, 2020.
“All migrants whose permit/visitor’s pass expired before March 23, 2020, shall pay an Overstay Penalty for the number of days stayed before the lockdown on March 23, 2020.”
The Consulate General added that all resident migrants whose permits expired outside Nigeria from March 23, 2020, would be allowed entry into Nigeria with the expired permits on or before September 25, 2020.
It stressed that such returning holders of expired permits and their dependents are to renew the permits within 30 days of arrival in Nigeria to avoid sanctions under relevant immigration laws.
It said that all migrants who processed payments for visa on arrival and all other categories of visas from Nigerian Missions before March 23, 2020, are to apply for revalidation and upload a copy of previous payments not later than September 15, 2020.
The Consulate General said all migrants who obtained a visa on arrival pre-approval letters and all categories of visas from Nigerian Missions before September 23, 2020, whose approval/visas expired before September 5, 2020, are also to apply for revalidation without making fresh payments, by uploading copies of the expired pre-approval letters/visas not later than September 15, 2020.