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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a visa?
A visa is a document which allows someone to travel into a specific country and stay there for a set period of time. Generally, a visa may only be issued at the High Commission or Embassy of the country. Visas may be stamped or glued directly into a passport or in some instances may be issued electronically. Some countries require everyone who enters to obtain a visa, while others have what are known as reciprocal agreements with certain countries that waive visa requirements. A visa may allow one, two or multiple entries before the expiration date of the visa. It is important to research visa requirements before traveling internationally to avoid any issues with border control officials and airlines. If a destination country requires a visa and the traveler does not have it in his/her passport, the airline may refuse to allow the traveller board their plane.

What is the difference between visa validity and maximum stay?
The validity of a given visa represents the dates that the visa is effective. For instance, if a visa for Nigeria is valid for 90 days, you must enter Nigeria before the 90 day period expires. Maximum stay is the time allotted for stay in the country.

Does OIS guarantee that I will receive my visa or passport by a certain date?
OIS will make every effort to ensure that you get your passport or visa in time for your trip. Any processing times listed on our website are provided by the Nigeria High Commission London under normal circumstances. OIS cannot always guarantee, however, that your passport or visa will be returned to you by a certain date, because ultimately the release of your visa or passport is entirely at the discretion of the Nigeria High Commission London. When the amount of visa and passport processing requests increases drastically, this can translate into longer processing times. Also, processing officers, may at their sole discretion request additional documents. In such cases the processing time will also be extended. Last minute updates on closure dates related to national holidays or other public events as well as equipment failure can also trigger delays. Such last minute occurences are impossible to predict and may extend the processing times. Nevertheless, at OIS we do our absolute best to get your paperwork processed on time and without delay.

What is a passport?
A passport is a document, normally in the form of a small book that has several functions. A passport enables a person to travel outside the borders of their home country. A passport does not automatically grant the holder the right to enter any country. A passport also functions as proof of citizenship, so a person holding a Nigerian Passport is internationally recognized as a Nigerian citizen. In cases when visas are required, the visa stamps or stickers are placed on the pages of the passport. Border control officials will also stamp the pages of the passport with entry and exit stamps upon entering or exiting a country.

Can my passport application be denied or rejected?
Passport applications may be denied or rejected for several reasons. The most common reason being failure to provide the necessary documents detailed in our checklists and/or the correct fee(s) not being paid. Please be advised that at their discretion, the Nigeria High Commission London has the right to request additional documents.

How does OIS calculate the processing time?
Processing times for visas and passports quoted by OIS are approximate and based on processing times provided by the Nigeria High Commission London under normal circumstances.

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