The federal government says it has reached an agreement with the United States to extend the validity of tourist visas for both countries to five years.
The federal government said in a statement issued on Friday by Sola Fasure, spokesperson for Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, that the new policy applies to tourist visas as well as visas for diplomats and government officials.
The new policy, which is said to be the result of bilateral consular agreements between Nigeria and the United States, is set to go into effect on March 1, 2023.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria has directed the full implementation of a new visa reciprocity policy for citizens of the United States of America with effect from 1st March, 2023,” the statement reads.
“The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, gave the directive following the approval for the implementation of the new Bilateral Consular Policy Agreements between the governments of Nigeria and the United States of America.
“The agreements amongst others include: The reciprocity of five (5) year tourist visa validity for American citizens pursuant to Section 30 of the Immigration Act, 2015; and extension of visa validity to three (3) years for diplomats and government officials between the citizens of Nigeria and the United States of America.
“Consequently, the Minister of Interior has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, to start the implementation of the policy from 1st March 2023.
“Nigerians will recall that President Muhammadu Buhari launched the new Nigeria Visa Policy (NPV) in 2020, which amongst other things promotes tourism. Tourist Visa falls under the Short Visit Visa (F5A) category. This policy is in line with Mr. President’s desire to boost cultural exchange and business between both nations.
“As part of the Bilateral Agreement, the United States of America will implement a similar policy for Nigerians wishing to travel on Tourist Visas to the United States and for our diplomats and officials visiting the country.
“The United States will thus extend Tourist Visa Validity for Nigerian citizens to five (5) years.”
The US tourist visa is currently valid for 24 months for Nigerians, while the short visit visa (F5A) is “valid for not more than 90 days from the date of issuance” for persons interested in visiting Nigeria for tourism purposes.