Steps to Apply for a Work Visa

Thousands of Nigerians seek to leave Nigeria and go abroad in search of greener pastures. Many nations, like Australia, Germany, the UK, Canada, and the USA among others, have better job opportunities, a higher standard of living, and a stronger economy than Nigeria. However, before you can travel to any foreign country to work and live, you need to get a valid work visa. The good thing is that this post would provide you with useful information, including a step-by-step approach toapplying for a work visa in general.

About Work Visa

Nigerians who seek to travel and work in another country require a work visa. This visa is like a stamp or sticker on your passport. However, there are certain requirements that apply to a work visa that applicants must meet depending on the country they desire to work in. Therefore, it is best you research the work visas offered bythe specific country you wish to travel to. Most common work visas include those for Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, etc.

Work Visa Types

There are various types of work visas and the one suitable for you depends on the duration of your employment abroad. However, thetypes of work visas generally include:

• Permanent Work Visas

This type of work visa allows applicants to live in a foreign country permanently, and after residing there for a specific period of time, they can apply for citizenship and become permanent residents of the country.

• Temporary Work Visas

A temporary work visa is for people who want to work for a short while in another country as it is only valid for a limited period. However, depending on the country you choose, you can either extend the visa or return to Nigeria upon the expiration of the visa. Also, some countries may even allow you to transfer to a permanent work visa.

Work Visa Eligibility

Noteworthy, the application process for a work visa depends on the country a person wishes to work in, however, the general eligibility criteria for anyone seeking to get a work visa for any countryincludes the following:

• You must have attained the age of 18.

• You must have secured a valid job offer.

• The company or organization employing you must not be illegitimate.

• You must not change employers during the application without informing the authorities of such change.

• If you want to switch employers, it must be within the same industry as when you applied for the work visa in the first place.

• If you want to continue with the work visa, then your employment must not end.

Work Visa General Requirements

Although there are various requirements that must be fulfilled to get a work visa depending on the country, the general requirements for a work visa include:

1. International Passport

Having an international passport which must be valid for at least 6 months before the expiration date of your visa is important to your application. You must also present copies of the data page of your passport. Note that it must be coloured and scanned. If you also have previous passports then you have to also present those to the authorities.

2. Visa Application Form

Most work visas demand that you fill out a form, which may be completed either offline or online. It is advisable to complete the form honestly and in block letters. It is also important to note that giving false information could prevent you from getting a visa and ultimately result in your application being denied.

3. Passport Photographs

You may be asked to include at least two passport photographs inyour application. These photographs must not be older than six months and must meet the photo requirements of the country you wish to move to. Most countries require the photos to measure 35mm by 45mm. It is also expedient that your whole face must be clear with a neutral expression, the background of the photo must be plain, and accessories and glasses are not allowed. Also, head coverings are not allowed except if your religion permits it.

4. National Identity Card

Although this is not a necessity in your application, some countries insist that applicants submit a scanned copy of their national identity cards for proper verification. Even though this may not be compulsory, it is advisable to include it in your application, in case it would be needed.

5. Medical Insurance

Several countries require that candidates provide health insurance to support any health costs while they are in the country. Thus, it is expedient to prepare your medical insurance which would cover your stay throughout the country.

6. Proof of Financial Stability

It is crucial that you present to the immigration authorities proof that you have sufficient funds. This is so because the government needs to be sure that you have enough money to support yourself in the country. Therefore, you must show that you can support yourself and any family member (per adventure they would be travellingwith you to the country) throughout your stay in the country. You can do this by presenting your bank statements for the past six months or a sponsorship letter if you would be travelling through sponsorship.

7. Flight Reservation

You must also present your travel itinerary or flight reservationwhich shows the details of your trip. Thus, your travel dates, proof that you have bought tickets, duration of visit etc must all be included in your itinerary.

8. Hotel Reservation

Also, you must provide proof that you have secured accommodation in the country. It’s not compulsory you get a hotel reservation, a house receipt or an invitation letter from a friend or family memberstaying in the country if you would be living with them would suffice.

9. Police Clearance Certificate

It is expedient to provide a police clearance certificate. This is to show that you are law-abiding and you have no criminal record.

10. Proof of Good Health

You must submit a report which shows that you are in good healthand perfectly fit. This report would be given by a certified health professional after taking medical tests for various diseases such as yellow fever and polio. 

11. Visa Fee Receipt

You must show that you have fully paid the visa fees and you must show that you have done so by submitting the receipt.

Work Visa Application Guide

1. Be employed

Before you think of applying for a work visa, you must have gotten a legitimate job in the country you wish to travel to as you may need some documents from your employer. Although it may be difficult to get a job in another country from Nigeria, there are still ways you can go about the whole process. Fortunately, we would be giving you tips on how to do so further in this post.

2. Begin your Application 

The next step is to start your application after you have a job. You may be required to complete the application form offline or online, depending on the country, as was previously mentioned in this post. When you are through filling out the form, make sure you sign and date it. In case they are required during the application procedure, you can also create photocopies. Remember that giving false information could lead to your visa being denied and, eventually, a restriction on future visa applications.

3Pay the Required Fees

You can pay the visa fees in person at the visa application centrewhen you submit your application if you haven’t previously done so online. There are two ways to go about doing this. A work visa may cost more or less and be good for one entry or multiple entries depending on the country. Keep in mind that the VFS office may request you to pay additional costs.

4Go to the Visa Application Center

Make sure you have an appointment with VFS before going to their location. You must bring all of the documents listed above, including your passport, to the office. These documents should be checked again to ensure that they are authentic and that nothing is missing. Because it is crucial to the application process, your biometric data will also be gathered at the visa application centreand forwarded to the embassy. Make sure to choose the closest VFS centre, the most convenient date, and the time for your visit.

5. Track your Application

You can check the status of your application online after submittingall the necessary documents. Entering your last name and the reference number located on the receipt you received from the visa application centre will enable you to do this.

6. Collect your Passport

Once a decision has been made about your application, your passport and the other documents you provided will be sent back to you via courier. Keep in mind that the applicant often pays the cost of the courier service. Making photocopies of your documents before submitting them is crucial because it’s very likely that not all of them won’t be returned.

Work Visa Processing Time

The processing of the work visa is not certain as several factors could be involved. However, depending on the country, it could take weeks or even months from the date of your application to get feedback.

Work Visa Refusal

If your work visa application has been rejected, it may be because of any of the following reasons:

• You provided the wrong details.

• You are found to have a criminal record.

• You provided false or invalid documents.

• You do not have a legitimate job offer.

• You provided an invalid or expired passport.

• Your application is incomplete.

• You do not have sufficient funds or there’s no proof of financial stability.

Tips on Getting a Job Abroad from Nigeria

1. Meet the Requirements

To get a job overseas, you must first fulfil all the criteria. Even though the broad requirements have already been mentioned, it is important to remember that each job position has its own unique standards that must be met before someone can be recruited. For instance, while certain job opportunities may just demand one, others may call for two years of relevant professional experience. Because of this, we suggest that you research the positions that suit you and, if you’ve already discovered one, confirm that you’re qualified for them.

2. Have a Good CV

Before meeting you, potential employers can learn more about you just by going through your CV. As a result, it’s imperative that your CV leaves a good initial impression. However, if you want to land your dream job, your CV must meet the requirements for applying in the country you wish to travel to. Your CV must succinctly outline your work experiences that are appropriate for the position you’re seeking for.

3. Check Job Boards Online

Job websites are great for searching for jobs as they allow you to check openings from the convenience of your home. In fact, hundreds of Nigerians have used online job searches to search for employment abroad and have successfully gotten one. Many jobwebsites, such as Glassdoor, Indeed and others, gather job vacanciesfrom numerous companies throughout the world, making it simple for people to find suitable job positions. These jobs can either be remote, on-site, or hybrid, depending on what is suitable for you. When searching for the type of work you want to go for, all you have to do is select the country you want to work in, and you will be shown hundreds of openings along with descriptions, income ranges, employer information, etc.


The average Nigerian would prefer to work abroad than in Nigeria.This is because there are several career opportunities abroad and this can open doors for many. If you have been seeking the steps to get a work visa from Nigeria, then we believe that this article has been of great help to you. Also, following our guidelines would not only assist you in getting a work visa but also a good job without any hitches.

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