The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), says a new Nigerian Visa Policy (NVP) aimed at expanding Visa classes from six to 79 is in prospect and awaiting approval by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammed Babandede, made the disclosure on Thursday, at the January Breakfast Meeting of the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC) in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting had as its theme: “The True Situation of Immigration in Nigeria Today and Prospects for the Future.”

Babandede, who was represented by Mr Kunle Osisanya, Comptroller (Visa Policy), said that the new Nigerian Visa Policy aimed at creating a balance in promoting ease of international travel, business and national security.

The comptroller-general said that the NVP was also to support the attainment of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and the presidential directives on security, economy and transparency aligned with global best practices in Visa administration.

He said that the current type of Visa classes, which are Transit, Tourist, Business, Subject to Regularisation (STR), Temporary Work Permit (TWP) and Diplomatic, was limiting.

According to him, the 79 classes in the NVP are codified.

The Comptroller-General explained that for instance, there was Investors Visa under Permanent Residence Visas for small and medium enterprises, large corporations, ultra large corporations, oil and gas with importation and investment capital, among others.

He said that for short visits Visas, ECOWAS member states, Visa abolition agreement countries, holders of official travel documents of the United Nations Organisation, Africa Union and few others were mentioned.

The CGI said that the introduction of passport comfort centres for applicants’ convenience had commenced.

He also said that the NIS prospects to implement national border management strategy and introduce facial recognition solution in biometrics, among others

Babandede used the opportunity of the forum to urge South Africa to reciprocate the Visa on Arrival policy to Nigerian migrants.

(NAN)

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