Non-ECOWAS visitors staying over 56 days subject to extension fee in Nigeria

On or after September 22, 2015, all non-Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) nationals holding entry visas, including business visitors and tourists, must pay an extension fee if they stay past 56 days cumulatively in a twelve-month period in Nigeria, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Interior.  Those staying beyond 56 days cumulatively in a twelve-month period will be considered overstayers and are subject to a penalty if they do not pay the appropriate extension fee.  Temporary Work Permit holders might be included in this group depending on the interpretation and discretion of immigration authorities.

Non-ECOWAS visitors staying past 56 days cumulatively in a twelve-month period are subject to the following extension fees:

  • Those staying for a period not exceeding 90 days: USD $200;
  • Those staying for a period exceeding 90 days but not exceeding 180 days: USD $1,000; and
  • Those staying for a period exceeding 180 days but not exceeding 365 days: USD $2,000.

The ECOWAS nations are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’ Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.

Non-ECOWAS visitors who overstay past 56 days cumulatively in a twelve-month period without paying the appropriate extension fee are subject to a fine 100% times their prescribed extension fee.

What This Means for Foreign Nationals

Because this change in policy and its implementation details are not yet clear, affected non-ECOWAS nationals should contact their immigration professional to discuss timing and other details of the extension fee.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK