Overstaying foreigners who breach their visa deadline may pay from $200 (N72, 000) to $4000 (N1.8million) as sanctions for attempting to beat the system, according to the Nigerian Government.
According to Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) sources, the sanction however would not apply to citizens of Economy Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as the Nigerian government under the ECOWAS free trade treaty permits free movements of citizens of member states with valid passports – without entry visas into the country.
THISDAY reported that the Nigerian Government has ceded to Concec Limited the concession for effective implementation of the policy and also to generate money from this policy. It was gathered that since the implementation of the policy as approved, foreigners travelling outside the country and those still staying have paid to legalize their stay in Nigeria.
“For a non-EWCOWAS visitor who applied to stay in Nigeria for 90 days, but ended up exceeding his visa by 180 days, the person would be sanctioned with a fine in the sum of $1, 000 or its naira equivalent,” the source added.
“The Federal Government had to introduce this new regime in order to checkmate foreigners who abuse visas granted them by the government.
“It was discovered that some of them intentionally overstay in Nigeria without regularising their papers. The government will do everything humanly possible to stop such abuse.”
“Besides, any non-ECOWAS visitor who intended to stay in Nigeria for a period exceeding 180 days, but not beyond 365 days aggregate in the would pay to the government the sum of $2, 000 or its equivalent.
“Also, any non-ECOWAS visitor who overstayed in the country without authorisation or regularisation would, in addition pay a penalty equivalent of $4, 000,” the source added.