Nigeria raises work visa fee for foreigners

Foreigners working in investment-starved Nigeria face the highest visa fee among immigrant workers in major African economies, adding to the challenges of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

The annual work visa fee for foreign nationals working in Nigeria stands at $2,000, following a 100 percent increase in 2018. This fee is notably higher than the $777 charged by South Africa for work visas and double the cost of a work permit in Ghana, which is $1,000 per year.

In contrast, Rwanda charges an average of $124 to renew a work permit, which is valid for two years. In Addis Ababa, foreigners pay $1,600 for a two-year visa, more than double the cost in Nigeria for the same duration.

Egypt is also planning to introduce a five-year multiple-entry visa that will cost $700.

Foreign investors in Nigeria are facing substantial immigration fees, with a combined cost of $4,000 annually for their expatriates and their spouses, making it one of the most expensive in the world.

Critics argue that these high fees, among other factors, deter foreign investment in Nigeria. The country has struggled to attract FDI, with inflows declining significantly in 2016 due to falling oil prices, which led to acute dollar shortages and its first economic recession in 25 years. In 2022, FDI reached a nine-year low of $468.91 million, with smaller African nations surpassing Nigeria in FDI attraction.