Travelling to Nigeria: Essential Checklist
|June 18, 2013||Posted by Vishal under Nigeria Business Visa||
Travelling to a different country can be a daunting part of a business person’s life so getting proper information beforehand is vital. In African countries like Nigeria, visa applications, safety, and cultural aspects of the work place have to be considered however with a bit of forward thinking, this doesn’t have to be too difficult.
Requirements for obtaining a Nigeria visa
Before visiting Nigeria, visa application forms must be filled in and paid for through the Nigeria immigration website but there are a number of things that will be needed before applying.
- A current national passport that has been valid for at least 6 months at the time the trip begins.
- A print out of the visa application form with a passport photo attached.
- A print out of the ‘payment confirmed’ page from the Nigeria visa application.
- Documentation of an invitation from an organization addressed to the Visa Section of the Nigeria High Commission that accepts responsibility for the person travelling. If this is not possible, proof of sustainability must be provided such as Travellers Cheques.
- Documentation from the traveller’s employer in the UK that has information on his or her immigration and employment status.
- For non-British passport holders, evidence must be produced of their legal right to stay in the country.
Staying safe when doing business in Nigeria
When visiting Nigeria, visa considerations are not the only thing that needs thinking about. Be sure to understand the country’s laws and customs as ignorance may not help if you commit a crime there. If at all possible, Northern and Central Nigeria should be avoided as much of these areas are either subject to very strict sharia law or have no law at all.
Even in the Southern part of the country, the cities and rural areas are dangerous and have high crime rates. Avoid travelling outside the cities at night as armed robbery is rife and in recent years, several foreign oil workers have been kidnapped.
Positive aspects of working in Nigeria
While safety is an issue, there are positive sides to working in Nigeria such as the way they do business. In Nigerian culture, a company is run like an extension of the family and newcomers are usually welcomed and treated as a part of that family. When entering the office, each employee tends to greet each other and enquire after their wellbeing and this will be the same for everyone from the CEO, the apprentice or the foreigner their temporarily.
There tends to be a high work ethic there so while there is a standard 40 hour week, working late and weekends is very common. The atmosphere tends to be very relaxed however and tardiness is common in the workplace. Jokes of a sexual nature are also common as are ones about race, especially towards foreigners with white skin but this is done in a good natured, light heated way and should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Despite this relaxed atmosphere, one formality to remember is that it is considered respectful to address someone by their professional title e.g. Sir, Doctor, Sergeant and so on and avoid using the first name of those of a higher rank in the work place unless given express permission to do so.
Once a trip is planned to Nigeria, visa and another documents are arranged and all safety measures have been accounted for, there is no reason not to have an enjoyable and uplifting experience while on a business trip to Nigeria.
This post was written by Vishal Mavadia, Business Director Visa Services London