The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has disclosed the modalities that would be used for travelers under the new visa regime introduced to aid ease of doing business through new visa categories.
It explained that under the new regime, travelers, both local and foreigners, would be treated fairly and that citizens’ diplomacy would be deployed in ensuring efficient service delivery across board.
The NIS Spokesman, Sunday James, said that through the new regime, acceptance would be based on carriers’ merit and integrity as passport entails more than its look and holder’s country.
Through a statement released to newsmen on Friday, James maintained that all measures had been put in place to ensure seamless transition from physical to e-passport.
“As a committed service, we will continue to practice citizens’ diplomacy both towards Nigerians and foreigners regardless of passport but on merit and integrity.
“The quality of a national passport is not only in good finishing and look, but what determines its acceptance to the global communities is more on the integrity of the citizens which rubs on the integrity of the passport they are holding.
“Acceptance evaluation of Nigerian passport as a travel document and citizens integrity determines how many countries will allow a Nigerian citizen entry into their country under which condition and for how long,’’ the statement said.
According to him, the fight against identity theft was part of the reason for the change from colonial passport, hand written, Machine Readable Passport (MRP) to the e-passport, and that the enhanced e-passport has over 25 security features among other factors.
According to him, this is to guarantee the safety of the holder and document in line with the National Visa Policy 2020 (NVP), adding that the policy expands the classes of visa from six to 79, to accommodate additional travel requirements for expatriates intending to travel to Nigeria.
He added that policy classifies travelers to Nigeria into two broad categories: Visa Free / Exemption and Visa Mandatory.
“The new classes are categorized into Short Visit Visas (28 classes), these allow foreigners to visit Nigeria for a period of up to three months, for the purpose of tourism and short business meetings, amongst others.
“Other are Temporary Residence Visas (36 classes), these allow individuals to reside in Nigeria for the purposes of employment, accompanying employed migrants and schooling, amongst others.
“Another is the Permanent residence Visas (15 classes): these confer permanent residence status on spouses of Nigerian citizens, Nigerians by birth who have renounced their Nigerian citizenship, and their spouses, investors who import an annual minimum threshold of capital, highly skilled individuals and some classes of retirees,’’ the statement said.