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US Increases Visa Validity for Nigerians to Boost Tourism and Business Opportunities

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The United States government has announced that starting March 1, 2023, Nigerians who want to enter the United States temporarily for business and tourism purposes will now be able to get their visas valid for 60 months instead of the previous 24 months.

This move is aimed at promoting tourism and business opportunities between the two countries and enhancing mutual understanding, Investors King understands.

This development was disclosed in a press statement released by the US Consulate General on Monday. The statement also noted that the visa application fee, which is currently $160, will remain the same despite the increased validity period.

According to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, the new visa reciprocity policy for citizens of the United States of America was directed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, following the approval of the new Bilateral Consular Policy Agreements between the two governments.

The agreements include the reciprocity of five-year tourist visa validity for American citizens pursuant to Section 30 of the Immigration Act, 2015, and the extension of visa validity to three years for diplomats and government officials between Nigeria and the United States.

The statement by the US Consulate further assured Nigerians that the United States is committed to reducing visa appointment wait times in Nigeria, and the increased visa validity is just one of several initiatives taken to achieve this goal.

The US Mission in Nigeria also offers No-Interview Visa Renewals to those who meet the eligibility criteria, and appointments for this service are readily available.

To be eligible for No-Interview Visa Renewals, applicants must meet the following criteria: they must be physically present in Nigeria, their previous visa must have been issued in Nigeria and must be in the same classification as their current application, their previous visa must have been a full-validity, multiple-entry visa, and their previous visa must have expired within the last 48 months or will expire in the next 3 months from the date of application.

Additionally, applicants must have all their passports covering the entire period since receiving the previous visa, and they must not have been arrested or convicted of any crime or offense in the United States, even if they later received a waiver or pardon.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Air Peace to Launch Direct Flights to London, Sets March 30 for Inaugural Journey

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Nigeria’s leading airline, Air Peace, has unveiled plans to commence direct flight operations to London, with the inaugural flight scheduled for March 30, 2024.

The announcement came during a prelaunch forum organized by the airline, engaging travel agencies and partners involved in the upcoming London flight operations.

The Chief Operating Officer of Air Peace, Oluwatoyin Olajide, assured stakeholders that the London operations would be daily and conducted with Boeing 777 aircraft and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, known for their modernity and efficiency.

Olajide emphasized the direct, non-stop nature of the flights, without layovers, and the airline’s commitment to providing unbeatable fares.

Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema, disclosed that the airline had received approval from the Federal Government, facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Aviation, for flights to New York, USA.

Onyema also declared a unified commission for all airline agents, regardless of size or status.

With commendations from industry leaders and associations for Air Peace’s nationalistic drive and dedication to the country, the airline is poised to connect Nigeria with London and further enhance its international presence.

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Nigeria to Implement Biometric Clearance Gates at International Airports by March 2024

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Nigeria is gearing up to introduce a significant upgrade to its airport security measures with the implementation of biometric clearance gates at international airports by March 2024.

This move aims to streamline passenger processing and bolster national security efforts.

Under the plan, five major international airports across Nigeria, including the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, and Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, will be equipped with biometric clearance gates.

These gates will utilize advanced technology to provide seamless clearance services for passengers entering the country.

Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, emphasized that the installation of biometric gates reflects Nigeria’s commitment to enhancing border control management and adhering to global best practices.

The gates are expected to significantly reduce clearance times, with a passenger clearing in just 30 seconds.

Tunji-Ojo highlighted the gates’ dual purpose: expediting passenger processing while also enhancing national security by allowing for quick identification of persons of interest.

The initiative aligns with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, aiming to provide quality services to Nigerians while ensuring national security.

This modernization effort is poised to address long-standing issues of delays and improve the overall travel experience for passengers at Nigeria’s international airports.

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Foreign Embassies Given Two Weeks to Settle $5.36M in Ground Rents

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The Nigerian Government has issued a firm ultimatum to 43 foreign embassies and diplomatic houses in Abuja, the nation’s capital, demanding the settlement of outstanding ground rents totaling $5.36 million within two weeks.

In an official advertorial published by the Federal Capital Territory Administration in the Newspaper, the government emphasized the urgency of the matter.

Failure to comply within the stipulated period could result in the revocation of the rent titles held by the diplomatic entities.

The notice serves as a final warning to embassies, including prominent ones like the British High Commission, South African High Commission, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, and the Embassy of Japan, among others.

These embassies and diplomatic entities have been identified as defaulters in the payment of their ground rents.

This directive underscores the Nigerian government’s commitment to ensuring compliance with legal obligations and financial commitments within its jurisdiction, regardless of the status of the entities involved.

The ultimatum is reminiscent of a similar notice issued last September to organizations in Abuja, emphasizing the importance of timely payment of annual rents.

The consequence of non-compliance, as stated in the notice, is the potential revocation of land titles.

The deadline creates a sense of urgency among the affected diplomatic missions, as failure to meet the payment deadline could lead to diplomatic tensions and logistical challenges for the embassies involved.

As the clock ticks, attention is focused on how these foreign embassies will respond to the Nigerian government’s ultimatum and whether they will meet the financial obligations within the stipulated timeframe.

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