The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has opened a Visa Application and Document Attestation Center at the office of the UAE Consulate General in Lagos.
This was contained in a statement sent to journalists by the office of the UAE Consulate, stating that the event took place on Tuesday, 11 January 2022.
The inauguration was led by the Consul General, Dr Abdulla Al Mandoos. It was attended by the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Government on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Solape Hammond; Comptroller General of Immigration for Lagos State, Ahmed Aliyu; Country Manager of Emirates Airlines, Paulos Legesse; Vice President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gbenga Ismail; Head of UAE Visa Centre, Abdulla Alqahtani and several media houses.
Leading the visitors on a tour of the centre, Mandoos reaffirmed that the UAE had worked towards fostering its bilateral relations with Nigeria.
What does this mean for Nigerians?
It signals a more restrictive visa policy for Nigerians with further scrutiny. Presently, most Nigerians process their UAE visa via electronic submission. However, with a Visa Application and Document Attestation Center in Lagos, Nigerians will be required to appear for “walk-in” submission.
The history of Nigerians’ visa/entry ban, Dubai carrier restrictions (Emirates Airline) and other unfavourable policies particular to Nigerians, and neighbouring countries who were alleged to aid Nigerians evade those policies echoed the new trajectory of the UAE government towards Nigerians.
Presently, there are several restrictions or challenges with processing a UAE visa, among which are:
- Informal travel restriction for Under 35-year-old male Nigerians;
- Ban on job-sponsored residency visa;
- Delays/denials in getting a visa for persons who are not married; and
- General application process delay at security checks on the UAE Immigration Process.
Hence, it is essential that when planning your travel to the UAE, you give room for visa processing time and collating your documents.
We will bring you more information on this development as it unfolds.
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