UK introduces new travel rule for Nigerians: Visa alone no longer guarantees entry

The United Kingdom (UK) has announced a new travel policy for Nigerians and other citizens wishing to enter or transit through the country, effective from November 15, 2023. The new policy requires travelers to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) card before they travel, in addition to having a valid visa.

The ETA card is mandatory for tourists, business travelers, those visiting family or friends, and transit passengers. The ETA card is digitally linked to the traveler’s passport and must be shown before boarding an airline. The ETA card is valid for multiple journeys over two years or until the passport expires, whichever is sooner. Applicants can apply online before booking any travel to the UK.

The new travel rule applies to everyone except British and Irish citizens, and those who are already legally resident in the UK. For Nigeria, the certificates with valid QR codes as issued by Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency are recognised as proof of vaccination.

The UK government said that the new policy is aimed at opening up international travel and enabling those who wish to enter the UK to do so safely. Vaccines work and – as the pandemic has shown – no one is safe until we are all safe, the government said.

The UK home office also advised travelers to check the latest travel guidance before they travel, as the rules may change depending on the COVID-19 situation in different countries.

Source:, GOV.UK, Vanguard News

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