Applying for a visa can be a chore with too much paperwork, especially if you are a Nigerian passport holder which is ranked 91st in the passport index. That is, there are not many countries or places you can visit without going through the cumbersome process of applying for a visa apart from the West African countries because of the ECOWAS free movement pact. And applying for one with this passport can put you in a disadvantaged position because it is not privileged. But this might just be changing due to the introduction of electronic-visa (e-visa), the new way of applying for a visa.
Since the Covid-19 disruption to international travel, countries around the world have reassessed the way they process visa applications and have put into consideration the safety of travellers, trying to ensure no or minimal contact during the application, and also because they want to open up to more travellers in order to generate more revenue to make up for the loss during the lockdown. Many countries are now adopting e-visa for their short-term visa category.
The e-visa is an electronic visa that allows travellers to enter a country by providing a secure and efficient visa application process online. It is a hassle-free visa you can apply for from the comfort of your home on your device and once your application is approved, an electronic visa will be emailed to you which you will present at immigration. It is a relief to the endless queuing and shoving at visa application centres. Well, in the future, we look forward to saying bye-bye to physical visa stickers and stamps.
As a Nigerian passport holder, you may be eligible for an e-visa for certain countries. The process of applying for an e-visa as a Nigerian passport holder is straightforward and simple. You can visit the official website of the country you wish to travel to and fill out the e-visa application form online. (Some of which are linked below and we will be updating them as we learn more.) You will be required to provide information such as your personal details, passport information, travel dates, details about your previous visa, and the reason for your visit. You will also need to pay the visa fee using a credit card or other secure payment method. Once your application is approved, you will receive an electronic visa in your email within a few days. This visa will serve as proof of your authorization to enter the country, and you will need to present it along with your passport at the border control.
It is important to note that not all countries offer e-visa facilities to Nigerian passport holders. However, some popular destinations that offer e-visa for Nigerian passport holders include:
- Australia – Once you have all the required documents needed to apply for the Australian eVisitor 600 visa – about 11 documents – you may apply on the website and pay for the application fee. The visa will be issued to you within 20 working days. The visa will be valid for 90 days.
- South Africa – It is very tedious applying for a South African visa as a Nigerian applicant. But not really anymore. You can now apply for a South African e-visa via VFS online portal. You will need to pay for both the visa fee, $75 USD, and the VFS service fee, $17 USD. Processing time is between 5-10 working days.
- Kenya – Kenya used to offer visa on arrival prior to 2021. But that policy has been changed. All travellers needing a visa to visit the country must now apply for one via their e-visa portal. The e-visa may be ready within 48 hours.
- Zimbabwe – The application process can take up to 7 working days or more depending on some factors in your application. The application fee is $45 USD. You may be required to pay it via the application portal or port of entry.
- Ethiopia – Single entry valid for 30 days is $82 USD, while the application for 90 days is $202 USD. The processing time takes up to 3 days.
- Rwanda – The application fee is $100. It has multiple entries and may be valid for up to 90 days.
- Gabon – Single entry from 1 to 3 months, the cost is €70 + €15 as processing fee. For 6 months with multiple entries cost €185 + €15 as the processing fee. Payments are made on arrival at the delivery of the e-visa sticker. The application processing time is 72 hours.
- South Sudan – For single entry, the fee is $100 USD, 3 months multiple entries, $200 USD, 6 months multiple entries, $350 USD. Your e-visa may be ready within 72 hours.
- Tanzania – You must carefully read the guideline before you apply for this e-visa. The application fee is $50 USD for single entry, and $100 USD for multiple entries. E-visa may be ready within 72 hours.
- Zambia – The application fee plus the service fee for single, double or multiple entries is less than $100 USD.
- Thailand – Thai e-visa is available to Nigerian passport holders for a fee of $60. Once all the required documents are submitted along with your application, an e-visa may be issued to you within 3 working days.
- Myanmar – Tourist visa valid for 28 days is $50 USD.
- Moldova – Application can be done via the official e-visa portal. The processing fee is €20.
- Bahrain – The total fee for the application is $77 USD. Approval of an application is not given immediately. Processing applications will take approximately 3-5 working days.
- Iran – Although the application can be filled out online, you may be required for an interview at the nearest consulate if they deem it necessary. The fee also varies according to different countries but it shouldn’t exceed $170 USD. You need to be careful and fill in your details correctly when you want to apply.
- New Zealand – Your application for The New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) can be ready within 72 hours after submitting it. New Zealand is among the first countries that adopted the e-visa method. They have a dedicated app for the process which you can download for free. Applying through their app costs $17 NZD and $23 NZD if completed online.
- St Kitts and Nevis – The application is pretty simple.
- Cambodia – Entry Type: Single entry only. Fee: USD 30 + USD 6 (processing charge). Validity: 3 months. Length of stay: 30 days. Processing time: 3 business days.
- Sri Lanka – Single entry for a tourist e-visa not exceeding 30 days is $20 USD; double entry is $50. A tourist Visa for 180 days in one stretch is $50 USD. Processing time can take up to 5 working days.
- Uzbekistan – You should read the guidelines before you begin your application. Application fee is $20 USD.
For other passport holders, here are some of the countries you may also be eligible to apply for their e-visa online:
- Turkey – This used to be open to Nigerian passport holders but has been discontinued for some reasons. However, other passport holders can apply for a Turkish e-visa online before travelling to the country. The e-visa fee is $50 USD, and you can use it for business, tourist, or medical purposes but not exceeding 90 days.
- Egypt – This application comes in two types: single entry which is $25 USD and multiple entries, $60 USD. Entry requirements include: passport valid for at least 6 months from arrival date, travel itinerary, hotel bookings/details about places to visit if going as a tourist, supporting letter e.g., a letter from company or invitation letter for business/family visits, e-Visa printout.
- India – Indian e-visa is simple and straightforward too. The fee ranges according to country, although it usually cannot be more than $80 USD. An applicant should take time to read the information on their site before applying. The process takes between 3-5 working days.
- Azerbaijan – Here is the information from their portal: The fee for e-Visa is $20 USD. This fee is charged for reviewing a visa application and is non-refundable under any circumstances. An amount of $5 USD is charged as a service fee for processing an e-visa. This amount is payable in addition to the $20 USD for the electronic visa. Payment operations can be made only using Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay. The card does not have to be under your name. An e-visa may be issued within 3 working days.
- Armenia – Visitor visa (up to 21 days of stay) / Non-refundable fee – USD 7. Visitor visa (up to 120 days of stay) / Non-refundable fee – USD 34. Processing time is up to 3 working days.
- UAE – Unfortunately, Nigerian passport holders are suspended from travelling to UAE until further notice. But nationals or passport holders of other countries requiring an e-visa to visit UAE may either apply for one through VFS Global Portal, or through the accredited airlines. The condition is that you must book your flight ticket via the airline you wish to process your e-visa through:
- Korea – This is partly online. Once you complete your application online, you go to the nearest Korean embassy to submit your application with your passport before you can be granted a visa. Single entry not exceeding 90 days is $40 USD, and exceeding 91 days is $60 USD. Multiple entries is $90 USD.
- Laos – The processing time of the e-visa is usually 3 working days after submitting your application provided that all information supplied meets the criteria and is accepted by the Lao Government Authorities, otherwise the processing time could be longer. E-visa fee varies per country but is usually around $50 USD.
- Jordan – Before you apply, read the guidelines.
- Saudi Arabia – The e-visa will be valid for one year from the date of issuance. The e-visa will be valid for multiple entries, unless stated otherwise on the specific e-visa. The maximum length of stay allowed under the e-visa is 3 months. If you are granted an e-visa, it cannot be extended. The price of the Service will be set out on the Website and at the time of payment during the e-visa application process. The fee for the e-visa may be amended from time to time at the sole discretion of MT. VAT will be charged at the applicable rate and will be payable by the applicant as part of the fees.
Finally, e-visa is a convenient and efficient way for Nigerian passport holders, or travellers generally, to travel to certain countries. With its quick and straightforward application process, it eliminates the needless stress regarding visa application, making it a preferred choice for many travellers. It is important to check the visa requirements and eligibility criteria for each country before applying for an e-visa. Some countries may also require you to provide additional documents, such as proof of financial means, travel insurance or a Covid-19 vaccination card. We wish you a travel-filled 2023. And remember: travel responsibly.
NB: We will continue to update this list as we learn more about countries offering the e-visa option. You can apply for this e-visa yourself without needing a middleman. However, if you would like to discuss your application with someone, you may write to Tope via his email.
Cover photo credit: Abhishek Singh