Updated: Dec 4, 2019
The last time I travelled to Nigeria was back in 2010. Yes, nearly 10 whole years ago. Why? education took over my life... well, that was the excuse that I used anyway. Now that I've graduated, there's no reason for me not to visit Nigeria often again. I love my culture and people.
So, I'm visiting again for the first time in 9 years this month to see my dad who resides there and boy was I not ready for the process that was in store. Since my Nigerian passport had expired, I had to apply for a visa and got this done in exactly 9 days, but it wasn't that straightforward for me since I'd never done it before.
At first, I had no idea what I was doing. As soon as I knew I had to apply for a visa, I began hunting around for information. I watched videos, asked my mum, dad and of course my Twitter family for help on applying for a Nigerian visitor's visa and the majority of responses I received were of this nature:
My mum even advised me to take some drugs. Paracetamol and any other kind lol. I had no option but to go through the process anyway, because time was running out and gone are the days my mum or dad would do it for me, cheers adulthood.
When I finally went through the process, I discovered it wasn't even half as bad as what I was expecting. Based on what I was told, I definitely was expecting to encounter something along the lines of this:
But it was the complete opposite. I received my visa within 9 days! I've written this blog post for anyone who is interested in applying for a Nigerian visitor visa to ensure that the application process is smooth.
1. Visit OIS website
Visit Online Intergrated Services website (www.oisservices.com)
This platform acts as a partner to the Nigerian High commission in order to make the visa applying processsmoother. I must say after using them, I can vouch that in my case they were very efficient and organised.
2. Choose your location
Choose the location (city) that you’re applying from and then wait as a new page will load automatically
3. Watch application process video
Watch the online application process video (very important to listen carefully as this will help you to fill out the application easily and correctly)
Tip : have it up on a new tab while filling out the application so that you can go back to it when necessary.
4. Visit the menu bar and go to visas
5. Choose visitor visa
6. Visa application paperwork checklist
Make a note of the visitor visa checklist. You’ll need ALL of these documents for your appointment with OIS services.
The sooner you gather these documents together and get them printed the better.
Note: some documents may take a while go gather, such as the invitation letter so alert your invitee to start sending that information over.
Tip: The more evidence you provide to show that you're a responsible human being, the better. I printed my employment contract to prove my job title and also printed my e-ticket to show that I've already booked the flight.
7. Click “Apply for your visa” button
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the brown “apply for your visa” button which should look like this :
8. Start application
This will take you to a page that will start your application.
Tip: - refer to the online application video if you get stuck
- fill out the application very accurately. Once you finish and pay for the application the information cannot be changed at all!
- make sure you have at least 45minutes to 1 hour to fill out the application so that you don’t rush and make any mistakes
- I encountered a few issues with my application so it took me over an hour. Be prepared for those kind of hiccups!
9. Make the payment
Once you’ve finished the application, you will be ushered onto the next step which involves making a payment of around £135.
10. Print application
Print the entire application directly from the website!
Tip: -Make sure you print the official application form or else they may charge you £10 at your appointment at OIS to print the correct document for you
- Not printing the correct document could delay the process
11. Book OIS appointment
Book appointment to visit the OIS branch to present your documents in the checklist here : https://apt.oisservices.com
Tip: -book an appointment ASAP! The sooner the appointment the better because it’s better to prepare for the worst to give yourself enough time to rectify anything
-bring along your appointment form or else you will not be allowed to enter!
- make sure you have ALL the documents in the checklist
-print extra if you must (I printed my employment contract from work to prove that I was working as what I said I was)
On the day of your appointment at OIS:
1. First, you’ll be first asked to present your printed appointment form to be scanned by security. The form should look like this:
2. You’ll then go through mini airport security system type of thing
3. Next, you’ll be given an a ticket and told to be seated until your ticket number is called.
4. Once you’re called to the desk, you’ll be asked to present all the documents on the checklist. (If you don’t have ALL of the documents you could be sent away, unless you have someone kind enough to help you print for a fee)
5. Once you’ve handed in all your documents and they’re happy, you'll be asked to pay another £72 by card only. This is for the Online Intergrated Service charge.
6. Once this charge has been paid, you’ll then be given a collections slip (VERY IMPORTANT: Keep this safe because you’ll need to bring this in when collecting your visa or you won’t get it)
6. Next, your biometrics (finger prints) will be captured on a machine.
7. Application process is complete! You’ll receive updates on your visa via email and be able to track it on www.oisservices.com
(your tracking number is on the collections slip that they give you) and you’ll be given an expected collection date before leaving the premises which can also be found on your collections slip.
On the day of collection:
Collection time is always between 4pm and 5pm (at London Fleet Street), so 4pm is the time that you’ll likely be told to come in. Make sure you go on time to beat the crowds!
1. You’ll be asked to present your collections slip that you were given at your OIS appointment. (If you don’t have it you’ll be turned away at the door)
2. If you do have it, then the form will be checked by security
3. Next, you’ll be told to go through and print a ticket and wait for your number to be called.
(If you arrive before 4pm they’ll tell you to wait until 4pm to print your ticket because that’s when the passports arrive back at the centre)
3. Then, you’ll be called to hand in your collections slip and then told to wait for your ticket number to be called again.
4. Finally, you’ll be called to hopefully receive your Nigerian visa just in time for your flight!
Application process takes one hour
You must pay £135.42 online
You must book an appointment at your nearest OIS centre
You must bring printed appointment slip to gain entry
You must bring all documents listed on visa document checklist, no exceptions.
You must pay another £72 by card after handing in documents at OIS appointment
You'll be given a collections slip that you MUST keep safe for collection day
Your biometrics will be captured at your appointment
You must bring in your collections slip on collection day to gain entry
Get your visa!
I’m aware that this is a very long and detailed blog post, but I thought it would be helpful to share some content that I would’ve appreciated at the timewhen I was applying for my visa.
If you follow these steps then you should be able to have the same outcome that I did, because I received my visa on my expected collection date with no qualms.
Don‘t forget to share this post and give it a heart if you found it helpful. Thanks for reading :)