As of March 20, in response to notable worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State has temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies have canceled all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa processes as of March 20, 2020, but will continue to provide emergency and visa services. President Buhari announced a cessation of movement in Nigeria, especially in Lagos and Ogun States, to overcome the spread of COVID-19.
Nigerian COVID-19 Cases
With 7.27 million coronavirus cases and 413K deaths globally, the world continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Nigeria currently has 14,554 confirmed cases, 387 deaths, and 4,494 has recovered as of June 11, 2020. Nigeria has banned immigration to combat the pandemic because the weak health care systems in Nigeria would increase the pandemic cases and its impact on their economies.
COVID-19 Impacts on Nigerian Immigration
We all know that as a consequence of the COVID-19 global pandemic, many countries have implemented restrictions on entry and exit visas, closed borders, and taken other measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. As the Global COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is significant to describe the pandemic’s potential impacts on immigration in Nigeria. The pandemic could be changing the face of migration in Nigeria in four key ways.
- Visa Suspension and Entry Restriction:
Nigeria has announced the immediate suspension of Visa on Arrival (VoA) issuance to travelers from 15 countries, namely China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, United States of America, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and Sweden. Consequently, there was a blanket suspension of VoA and Temporary Work Permit (TWP) to expecting visitors to Nigeria.
- Mandatory Self-Isolation:
All travelers who have recently returned to Nigeria from these 15 countries would undergo supervised isolation for 14 days. They will be monitored by the Nigeria Centers for Disease Control (NCDC) and Port Health Services.
- Closure of Airport:
The government closed airports to international flights and suspended visa on arrival issuance. Aviation minister Hadi Sirika informed that Nigerian airports would remain closed to international flights for another two weeks to control the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
- Intra-city/Country Movement Restriction:
Nigeria has also issued internal travel restrictions in addition to the strict international limits due to a massive increase in COVID-19 cases in Abuja and Lagos. On Monday, May 18, President Muhammadu Buhari approved an extension to movement restrictions due to the increased instances of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Abuja, Lagos, and Ogun. Authorities also stated that targeted lockdown measures would be introduced in areas where reported cases of COVID-19 rapidly increase, and everyone in the locations covered by the restriction is mandated to stay in their homes for safety. Travel to or from other States is restricted, and all businesses/offices except essential services within the locations should be fully closed.
How Long Does it take to Get A Nigerian Visa before COVID-19?
Usually, it takes from 5 working days and up to 3 weeks to get a Nigerian visit visa from Houston. Sometimes, it could take longer to get a Nigerian visa, depending on various factors and situations. Some reputable travel agencies like Nigerian visa Services in Houston will give you a Business Visa to Nigeria within a day or two. Travel restrictions to combat the Pandemic COVID-19 have affected global immigration very much and stopped the visa processing around the globe.. These restrictions may affect international business travel, but these immigration restrictions are time-bound and for a definite period.
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