NigeriaOfficial Name: Federal Republic of Nigeria
Six month minimum on entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Polio and yellow fever vaccinations recommended.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Abuja
Telephone: +(234)(9) 461-4176 (Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(234)(9) 461-4000
Fax: +(234)(9) 461-4171
U.S. Consulate General Lagos
2 Walter Carrington Crescent,
Telephone: +(234)(1) 460-3600 (Monday through Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(234)(1) 460-3400
Fax: +(234)(1) 261-2218
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Nigeria for information on U.S.-Nigeria relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
A valid passport and visa are required. You should obtain your Nigerian visa from a Nigerian embassy or consulate in advance of your travel. In most cases, you cannot obtain a visa upon arrival at the airport. If anyone promises you to get you into Nigeria without a visa, they are probably planning to exploit your illegal presence in Nigeria through threats of extortion or bodily harm. Don’t do it!
You cannot legally depart Nigeria unless you can prove, by presenting your entry visa, that you entered Nigeria legally. Please note that U.S.-Nigerian dual-national citizens are now required to have a valid Nigerian passport in order to depart the country. Dual-national citizens can be, and often are, denied boarding until they have obtained current Nigerian passports. Visit the Embassy of Nigeria web site for the most current visa and entry information.
Nigeria’s immigration laws only permit an individual to spend an aggregate of 56 days in the country if they enter on a tourist visa. If you plan to spend more than 56 days you must apply for an extension of your stay with your nearest Nigeria Immigration Services office. Individuals who stay longer than 56 days without obtaining a proper extension are subject to fines and may be unable to leave the country until their fines are paid. Note: The amount of the fine is not always transparent.
For detailed information on immunization requirements, please refer to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Travelers’ Health website.
Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors and foreign residents of Nigeria. Nigerian authorities may deny entry to foreigners who are “undesirable for medical reasons” and may require HIV tests for foreigners intending to marry Nigerian citizens. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Nigeria before travel.
Safety and Security
Please see our most recent Travel Warning for more detailed information.
There are significant risks associated with travel in Nigeria, including terrorist attacks, kidnappings, crime, and communal or political violence.
Be especially vigilant in/around:
- other places of worship
- locations where large crowds may gather
- shopping malls
Be aware of current situations, including curfews, travel restrictions, and states of emergency in the areas you are in or plan to visit.
The terrorist group Boko Haram has carried out numerous attacks on civilian and government targets in recent years, killing or wounding thousands of people. While northeastern Nigeria is the epicenter of Boko Haram activities, the group has taken responsibility for attacks in Jos, the Federal Capitol Territory, and Lagos.
Kidnappings remain a security concern throughout the country. Kidnappings in recent years have resulted in the deaths of foreign nationals, including several killed by their captors during military-led raids/rescue operations.
Crime: Armed muggings, assaults, burglaries and home invasions, car-jackings, rape, and extortions occur regularly and often involve violence. Law enforcement authorities usually respond slowly or not at all and provide little or no investigative support to victims.
Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police and contact the Embassy or Consulate. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime. See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your consent
- explain the local criminal justice process
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited support in cases of destitution
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy or Consulate for assistance.
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful tips.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Special Circumstances: The local currency, the Naira, is non-convertible. Obtaining U.S. dollars is increasingly difficult. Visitors should expect to pay most bills in cash. This makes travelers an attractive target for criminals.
While credit cards may be accepted at established businesses in major cities, they are rarely accepted elsewhere. Virtually all credit card readers in Nigeria require embedded “smart” chips. Credit card use should be considered carefully.
Most banks do not cash traveler’s checks. Inter-bank transfers are often difficult to accomplish. Though money transfer services are availabe, money may only be transferred from abroad to Nigeria.
Scams: Nigerian fraud schemes target foreigners worldwide. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings or by unsolicited emails, and letters. Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens in Nigeria who unexpectedly experience a medical, legal, financial, or other type of “emergency” requiring immediate financial assistance. For additional information on these types of scams, see the Department of State's publication, International Financial Scams. Commercial scams are also common and involve phony offers of money transfers, lucrative sales, contracts with promises of large commissions, or up-front payments.
Photography: It is illegal to take photos or videos in/around
- all government buildings
- near military installations/operations
Many restricted sites are not clearly marked, and these restrictions are subject to interpretation by the Nigerian security services. Violations can result in detention.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: Consensual, same-sex sexual relations are illegal in Nigeria. Entering same-sex marriage contracts and civil unions (defined to include “any arrangement between persons of the same sex to live together as sex partners”) is also criminalized, with punishments including fines and prison sentences of up to 14 years. Same-sex marriage contracts and civil unions entered into in a foreign country are not recognized under Nigerian law.
Public displays of affection between persons of the same sex are also punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Furthermore, the law allows for the prosecution of persons who support or belong to advocacy groups relating to LGBT issues, with prison sentences of up to 10 years. U.S. citizens who participate in free speech or assemblies relating to same sex marriage could potentially be prosecuted under this new law.
In the following northern states, where Sharia law applies, penalties can also include death: Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Nigeria, you may review the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Persons with disabilities can expect to experience difficultly in terms of accessibility and accommodation.
Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Nigeria has a number of well trained doctors, yet medical facilities are generally poor. Many medicines are unavailable. Caution should be taken when purchasing medicines locally as counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a common problem and may be difficult to distinguish from genuine medications. Hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
Travelers are encouraged to visit the CDC Travelers’ Health page for Nigeria for the latest recommendations for immunizations and malaria prophylaxis and discussion of other disease threats.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.
Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
The following diseases and health concerns are either prevalent or much more common than in the United States:
- Yellow fever
- Meningococcal meningitis
- Diarrheal illness
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel & Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: You may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Roads are generally in poor condition, causing damage to vehicles and contributing to hazardous traffic conditions. There are few working traffic lights or stop signs and few traffic control officers to manage traffic during power outages. The rainy season, generally from May to October, is especially dangerous because of flooded roads and water-concealed potholes.
All drivers and passengers should wear seat belts, lock doors, and keep windows closed. It is important to secure appropriate automobile insurance. Drivers and passengers of vehicles involved in accidents resulting in injury or death have experienced extra-judicial actions, i.e., mob attacks, official consequences such as fines and incarceration, and/or confrontations with the victim's family. Driving between 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. should be done with extreme caution, as bandits and police roadblocks are more numerous at night. Automobiles, trucks, or "okadas" often drive on the wrong side of the road or on sidewalks. These vehicles are difficult to see at night because streets are poorly lit, and many vehicles are missing headlights, tail lights, and reflectors.
Traffic Laws and Culture: Motor vehicle accidents can be reported by dialing “119,” the local equivalent to 911. Traffic control officers may occasionally seek bribes when citing drivers for traffic violations. Excessive speed, unpredictable driving habits, lack of basic maintenance and safety equipment on many vehicles, and the absence of any official vehicle inspection for roadworthiness all present additional hazards. Motorists seldom yield the right-of-way and give little consideration to pedestrians and cyclists. Accidents on highways with high casualties are common. Chronic fuel shortages have led to long lines at service stations, which disrupt or block traffic for extended periods.
Public Transportation: We recommend avoiding public transportation throughout Nigeria. Public transportation vehicles, such as buses and motorbikes, are unsafe due to poor maintenance, high speeds, and overcrowding. Motorbike taxis, known in Nigeria as "okadas," offer a common form of public transportation in many cities and pose serious danger to other motorists, their own passengers, and pedestrians. Motorbikes are banned within Abuja's city limits and many major thoroughfares in Lagos. Okada drivers and passengers are required to wear helmets in a number of cities in the country; police can fine violators on the spot. Passengers in local taxis have been driven to secluded locations where they were attacked and robbed. Several of the victims required hospitalization.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Nigeria’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Assistance for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Embassy Abuja
1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Abuja
- Telephone +(234) (9) 461-4176 (Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
- Emergency After-Hours Telephone +(234) (9) 461-4000
- Fax +(234) (9) 461-4171
- Email Consularabuja@state.gov
- U.S. Embassy Abuja