Seven Visa Types Every Traveller Should Know

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Have you ever been sent back from the airport? This is all you need to know about visa types. There are at least 7 visa types and depending on the country, the visa type could determine whether or not you decide to travel. All you need to know about visa types!

No Visa Required

For Nigerians, there are some countries where you will be allowed to visit without a visa. You only need a passport or ID document and no one can charge you an entry fee to enter. All ECOWAS countries allow no visa entry.

Visa on Arrival

This means that you can travel with only your passport but when you get to the country, you have to pay for their visa and it will be given to you. Usually, before you board, the airline will ask for a hotel stay, yellow card (African destinations), etc.



This means that you can apply for the visa from the comfort of your bedroom and not have to show up to any embassy or application centre. But the visa (or visa letter) has to be issued and printed out before you can board the flight. Some countries grant automatic approval for E-Visa applicants. Some others can deny you. Some will grant you the visa approval but require you to pay on arrival while others require payment at the time of application. It is an easy way to apply but should be done before the trip!

Referral Visa

Countries like Tanzania require Nigerians to have a host in TZ apply for them before they are granted a visa letter. TZ also has e-visa which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. For referral, you need a host (hotel, tour company, etc) to apply for you.

Non-sight Visa Application

This means that you have to send your passport to an embassy with required documents but you don’t have to physically show up anywhere. Think Morocco. It is easy and convenient but your passport still has to be tied down until the visa is granted.

Full Visa Application (biometrics, no interview)

All the Schengen countries, Canada, the UK, etc require that you physically show up to VFS or TLS (their visa processing centres) to submit your passport/docs and get fingerprinted. You don’t get interviewed. Note: Canada has an online visa application system now so you can submit all your docs online and only when they call you, do you come for fingerprints. Then they call you again to say your visa was approved so submit your passport. Or denied, no need to come in.

Full Visa Application (with Interview)

Some countries will require you to show up at their embassy and face a visa officer before your visa can be granted. Think the US, Egypt, etc. This requires the most time and energy but you know on the spot what your fate it.

Credit: Funmi Oyatogun (Founder, TVP Adventures) @funmioyatogun

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