In a surprising turn of events, there has been alleged news of Seychelles, the picturesque island nation in the Indian Ocean, imposing a ban on Nigerian passport holders for short-term visa applications, or those seeking to travel for holiday purposes. Seychelles, known for its beaches, coral reefs, nature reserves, and rare wildlife, has been a beloved destination for Nigerians and global tourists alike. However, this new development seems to be a significant change in the travel landscape, which could potentially have far-reaching impacts on the relations between Seychelles and Nigeria.
The news was brought to light by a travel content creator who received a rejection email for their visa application. In an age where social media platforms serve as critical spaces for sharing real-time updates and news, the alarm was raised about this unforeseen change on a Saturday evening.
Shared on Twitter, the screenshot of the rejection email sent out by Seychelles’ immigration office partially read, “We regret to inform you that your application has been denied, as per immigration regulation, for now we are not accepting any NIGERIAN passport holder for holiday purposes. Kindly contact http://www.ics.gov.sc/ (Seychelles Immigration) or call 248 4 293 636 for more information.” This has raised several questions and concerns among Nigerian passport holders, especially considering the prior relaxed travel policies between Seychelles and Nigeria.
The user who raised the alarm expressed their frustration, “It seems Seychelles just placed a ban on Nigerian passport holders. The thing with having a Nigerian passport is you can be postponing travel plans until you become Bill Gates and immigration policies will be like Dey play.” This statement captures the disheartening reality that Nigerian passport holders are currently grappling with in their international travel plans.
What adds a layer of complexity to the situation is that this ban comes just six months after Nigeria signed a pact with Seychelles for direct flights between the two countries. This pact was seen as a significant step in enhancing bilateral ties, making the sudden imposition of this alleged ban all the more baffling.
Prior to this abrupt change, there had been a longstanding visa-free agreement between Nigeria and Seychelles, allowing Nigerian citizens free entry without a visa for up to 30 days. This generous policy was reflective of the warm relations between the two countries, fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual cultural exchange.
As the news unfolds and more information comes to light, one can only hope for clarity on the matter, especially for those Nigerian passport holders who had been looking forward to their vacations in the idyllic landscapes of Seychelles. As of now, the sudden imposition of the alleged ban seems to be a significant disruption in the ease of travel, putting a dampener on the hopes of numerous Nigerian holidaymakers.