Steps to Apply for Work Visa


Many people seek to travel out of Nigeria to a foreign country to look for greener pastures. Compared to Nigeria, many countries such as Australia, the UK, Canada, USA among others have great career opportunities, a high standard of living, a good economy etc. However, before you can travel to any foreign country to work, you need to have a work visa. Fortunately, this article would show you the step-by-step process of how to apply for a work visa generallyamong other relevant information.

About Work Visa

A work visa is a permit in form of a stamp or sticker on your passport which allows you to travel to a country to work for a while. However, based on the country you wish to work in, several conditions and factors apply to a work visa which applicants must take note of. So, it is advisable to make specific research on the work visa of your desired country. Popular work visas include Australian work visas, UK work visas, Canadian work visas etc.

Work Visa Types

The type of work visa you can apply for depends on how long you wish to work in your desired country. However, the general types of work visas include:

• Permanent Work Visas

These types of work visas permit you to live in a foreign country permanently, and after living there for a specific period of time, you can apply for citizenship.

• Temporary Work Visas


The temporary work visa is only valid for a limited period. However, depending on the country, you can either extend the visa or return home once it expires. Some countries may even permit you to transfer to a permanent work visa.

Work Visa Eligibility

As earlier noted, 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 includes the following:

• The applicant must be above the age of 18.

• The applicant must have obtained a valid job offer.

• The company or organization employing the applicant must be legitimate.

• The applicant must not change employers during the application without informing the authorities.

• If the applicant seeks to change employers, it must be within the same industry as when they applied for the work visa in the first place.

• The employment must not end to keep on having the work visa.

Work Visa General Requirements

The general requirements that an applicant must meet to be considered for a work visa include:

1. International Passport

It is important to have a valid international passport which must stay valid for at least 6 months before the expiration date of your visa. You must also present copies of your passport data page which must be coloured and scanned. If you also have previous passports then you have to submit those as well.

2. Visa Application Form

Most work visas require you to fill out a form and this could either be online or offline. It is advisable to fill out the form honestly and in block letters. Noteworthy, if you provide false information, it may affect your visa approval and your application may be rejected ultimately.

3. Passport Photographs

You may be asked to submit at least two passport photographs during your application process. These pictures must not be older than six months and must meet the photo requirements of the country you wish to travel to. Some countries, for instance,Australia, require the photos to measure 35mm – 40mm by 45mm – 50mm. It is also important that your whole face must be clear, the background of the photo must be plain, preferably white and accessories and glasses are not allowed.

4. National Identity Card

Although this is not compulsory, some countries may require you to provide a scanned copy of your national identity card. However, this may not be compulsory and if this is the case, you would be duly informed by the visa authorities. 

5. Health Insurance

Most countries require candidates to have medical insurance to support their health costs. Hence, you must show that you have medical insurance that covers your health costs throughout your stay in that country.

6. Proof of Sufficient Funds

It is pertinent that you show the immigration authorities that you have enough money to support yourself in the country. Therefore, you must prove that you can support yourself and your family members (if they would be travelling with you to the country) throughout your stay in the country. You can present your bank statements for the past six months or a sponsorship letter if you would be sponsored by anyone. 

7. Travel Itinerary

You must show your travel itinerary which shows the details of your trip. Hence, your travel dates, proof that you have bought tickets, duration of visit etc must all be included in your itinerary.

8. Proof of Accommodation

You must also provide proof that you have secured accommodation in the country. Even if you have not gotten your apartment over there, you can submit your hotel reservation or an invitation letter from a friend or family member staying in the country if you would be living with them.

9. Police Clearance Certificate

No country wants to accept potential criminals or anyone with a criminal record. This is why you must prove that you are law-abiding and have no criminal record by submitting a police clearance certificate.

10. Proof of Good Health

You must prove that you are in good health and perfectly fit by taking medical tests for various diseases such as yellow fever and polio. 

11. Travel Itinerary

Most immigration authorities require applicants to provide theirtravel itinerary and show that they would be returning to Nigeria after the expiration of their visa. However, it is important to note that you don’t need to buy travel tickets to prove this as your visa may be denied in the end and you would have to bear the loss.

12. Proof of Paid Visa Fees

You must pay the visa fees and you must show that you have done so by presenting the receipt.

Work Visa Application Guide

1. Get a Job

This is the first step you must take before applying for a work visa as you may need some documents from your employer. It may be difficult to get a job in another country from Nigeria, however, we would be giving you tips on how to do so further in this article.

2. Start your Application 

After you have secured a job, the next thing is to begin your application. As stated earlier, depending on the country, you may be required to fill out the application form online or offline. Either way,ensure you sign it and date it once you are done filling out the form. You can also make photocopies in case they would be needed in the course of the application process. Bear in mind that providing false information could result in your visa being denied and ultimately, aban may be placed on applying for the visa.

3Pay the Required Fees

This could either be done online or in person and if you haven’t already done so online, you can pay the visa fees at the visa application centre where you submit your application. The cost of awork visa varies depending on the country and could either be for a single entry or multiple entries. Also, keep in mind that the VFS office may ask you to pay additional fees if necessary.

4. Visit the Visa Application Center

Ensure that you have made an appointment with VFS before visiting their office. At the office, you must present all of the documents that have been highlighted above including your passport. It is important to double-check these documents to make sure they are original and that none is missing. Your biometric data will also be collected at the visa application centre and sent to the embassy because it is important in the application process. Make sure you select the VFS location, date and time that is most convenient for you to visit.

5. Track your Application

After submitting the required documents, you can check the status of your application online. You can do so by entering your last name and the reference number found on the receipt you were given at the visa application centre.

6. Collect your Passport

Your passport and other documents you submitted would be returned to you through courier after a decision has been made on your application. Keep in mind that the cost of the courier service is usually borne by the applicant. It is also possible that not all of your documents will be returned and this is why it is important to make photocopies before you submit them. 

Work Visa Processing Time

There is no specific time for the work visa to be processed. However, due to several factors such as the country, it may takeseveral weeks or even months to get a response from the date of your application.

Work Visa Refusal

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

• You provided incorrect information.

• You have a criminal record.

• You provided false documents.

• You do not have a valid job offer.

• You provided an invalid passport.

• Your application is incomplete.

• You have insufficient funds or no proof of financial stability.

• Some of your documents are missing.

Tips on Getting a Job Abroad from Nigeria

As we have seen above, before you can apply for a work visa in most cases, you need to have a valid job offer. The following tips would help you get a job abroad from Nigeria:

1. Meet the Requirements

The first step in getting a job abroad is to meet all the requirements.Although, the general requirements have been described above, note that every job position has its particular requirements that must be met before anybody may be hired. For instance, some job positions require five years of relevant work experience, while others may just need one. This is why we advise you to look into the jobs that interest you and, if you have found one already, make sure you’re qualified for them.

2. Have a Good CV

Your CV gives potential employers a chance to get to know you before they meet you. Because of this, it’s critical to make a solid first impression with your CV. However, you need a CV that adheres to your prospective country’s application criteria if you want to get your ideal job. Your CV must clearly describe your relevant experiences that are suited to the particular job you’re applying for.

3. Check Job Boards Online

Amazingly, you can search for jobs from the comfort of your homeon job websites online. It would interest you to know that hundreds of Nigerians have found employment abroad by searching online.Many job websites, such as Glassdoor etc compile job openings from various businesses from all over the world making it easy for people to find suitable jobs. Depending on your interests, these jobs can either be remote, on-site, or hybrid. All you have to do is tochoose the country you wish to work in as the location in your search for the type of work you wish to pursue, and you will be presented with hundreds of positions along with descriptions, salary ranges, employer information, etc.

4. Create a Good Cover Letter

Your cover letter introduces you better than your CV. In your cover letter, introduce yourself, describe the position for which you are seeking, and convince the employer of your qualifications. However, you mustn’t put all of your attention on yourself. You ought to talk more about the business and how you can help it develop. The employer should be aware that you went above and beyond to learn about the business. Your cover letter ought to be brief, formal, and straightforward to impress your employer.


It is more desirable to work abroad than in Nigeria as there are many benefits attached to doing so. If you have been looking for the steps to get a work visa from Nigeria, then we believe that this post has been of tremendous help to you. Also, following our guidelines would not only assist you in getting a work visa but also a good job without hassles.

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