Nigerian visa - letter of invitation?
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Apr 3, 2011 5:15 PM Last Post By: Pizza_Wheel
Dec 30, 2010 3:35 AM
Nigerian visa - letter of invitation?Dear all,
I'm in London trying to get a tourist visa to visit Nigeria, but the website insists on a letter of invitation and a photocopy of the inviter's passport. I've tried calling the embassy numerous times and they insist I need a letter of invitation, and one also said I need a hotel reservation. When I ask for more info on how to get such a letter they invariably forward me to an extension (presumably specifically for callers like me) that says "this is an answerphone but you can't leave a message" then disconnects.
Anyone any ideas please? I gather it is easier to get a Nigerian visa before I leave rather than en-route. (I'm flying in to Ghana then traveling across overland.) I've no idea how I might get a letter of invitation though.
Thanks for reading and for any insights
Dec 30, 2010 8:59 AM
I travelled to Nigeria for six weeks over July and August just past, I flew in from London and had obtained a visa beforehand. From what I can remember of the visa application process it was quite straight forward with no letter of recommendation needed nor a copy of their passport. I cannot remember the website but it was all done online and then I sent away my passport. I think I had to provide an address of where I was staying but then I had that information already.
Try finding the application website and going from there, if an address is needed just give them the address of a hotel or somewhere you intend to stay. My only annoyance was the cost and the fact that even after applying for a three month visa when we arrived into the country passport control only stamped us for four weeks, which is quite common apparently, but thats another story.
Sorry I cannot be more helpful, there are plenty of agencies that will sort your visa out for you but invariably they cost more.
Dec 31, 2010 7:12 AM
2Hi, thanks hugely iamsecond for your reassuring advice!
I found a few services that would do the application for me but they all charged £66 on top of the cost of the visa, so given you needed so little paperwork I decided I'd attempt it myself.
I turned up at the embassy in London at 11:30 this morning, got a ticket and waited about 45 minutes until my number was called (office is open 9am until 1pm). I took a hotel reservation confirmation, evidence of funds and credit cards (I took originals and photocopies - they saw the originals then kept hold of the copies, which I won't get returned), a completed application form (downloadable from the embassy website), my passport, a postal order for £20 for the processing fee, for the visa fee a credit card. (You can only pay the processing fee with a postal order, which you can only buy from a post office with cash.)
As it is my first visit I get single entry and the duration is decided when I enter, not before, and the visa is valid for entry within the next 3 months only (although I read somewhere it is easier to renew an expired visa while abroad than to get a new one). The fee was £70 plus £1 credit card surcharge (50p for debit card, or pay by cash or postal order), on top of the £20 processing fee.
Apparently they will only accept the payment if the visa is going to be granted. They did check my paperwork thoroughly while I was there so this seems likely.
The passport will be available for me to pick up Friday, which is 5 working days including the day I dropped off. You can pay an extra £50 for the express service, which means your passport is ready in 24 hours.
Fingers crossed I'll have a shiny Nigerian tourist visa for collection Friday!
Jan 1, 2011 11:45 PM
Compliments of the season, since this is your first visit to Nigeria, hope you have a host or group of people here that would help you make the most of your visit. Lots to see and do that will fascinate you. good luck.
Jan 3, 2011 10:19 AM
4Good work with the visa, shame these things are never simple! Enjoy your trip, Nigeria is an eye opener for sure!
Jan 3, 2011 5:50 PM
Feb 9, 2011 2:26 AM
6Nigeria is cash only economy and credit card use is very highly discouraged for security reasons even in so called high end places...
If you think you cards have been compromised, cancel them and get new ones.
Mar 21, 2011 3:27 AM
Was your visa application successful?
I need to apply for one in London, was planning on getting it in Mali but is sounds like they might have stopped issuing these unless you're a resident .
Unfortunately I know anyone who can send me a letter of invitation :(
If its not required that would make my life much easier :)
Mar 31, 2011 3:52 PM
8I sent copies of my cards and statements but modified the images so that no identifiable information was in the copy - I blurred the last 4 digits of any numbers and dates. (I should have pointed this out in case others didn't think of it.)
My visa application was successful. Unfortunately the visa is only valid for entry into the country within 3 months of getting the visa, mine expires in a few days and I can't make it for another week or two. However I spoke to the Nigerian embassy here in Togo today and they said they could extend its expiry if I take it to them on a Mon to Thu morning before 10:30am (the visa section is closed from then on) and picked it up a day or so later. Absolutely no chance whatsoever of getting a Nigerian or Ghanaian visa outside of your country of residence though.
Apr 3, 2011 2:59 PM
9Just got my visa for Nigeria.
Quick note, you must now pay for your visa online at immigration.gov.ng before you go to the embassy.
Confirmed, no letter of invitation needed, just the hotel booking.
Also, for proof of funds they didnt want my bank statements they wanted travellers cheques - £40 per person per day. they just look at them then return them.
More info here
Apr 3, 2011 5:15 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$107.71 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$739.76 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$199.35 per night