Saudi Arabia cancels visas of 264 Nigerians, deports 170

  •  Immigration source gives possible reasons for visa cancellations

 

Saudi Arabian authorities on Monday cancelled the visas of all 264 Nigerians who arrived Jeddah from Kano. The Arabian nation consequently ordered the deportation of many Nigerians on Air Peace flight.

It is not clear what led to the visa cancellation but an Immigration source told Aviation Metric under a condition of anonymity that nations can cancel visas already issued if they have strong reasons to do that.

Such reasons he said could be that the visa applicant used fake documents or lied during an interview to obtain the travel permit, stressing that every country has the right to withdraw visas issued to people coming into their country.

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He equally noted that the issuance of a visa does not guarantee an individual fettered access to another person’s country, hinting that travellers can be denied entry even at immigration points and be deported to their countries even after arrival.

A statement by Air Peace confirmed that the Saudi authorities insisted that the airline return the passengers to Nigeria.

The passengers, along with airline personnel, were surprised as their visas had been processed through the Advanced Passengers Prescreening System (APPS), monitored by Saudi authorities before departure.

The carrier further stated that the Nigerian embassy intervened in the matter, leading to a reduction in the number of passengers to be returned from 264 to 170.

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“The Saudi Immigration personnel claimed ignorance about the visa cancellations, stating that they occurred while the airline was already en route to Jeddah”, said Air Peace.

The airline further stated that despite the Advanced Passenger Prescreening System (APPS) accepting all affected passengers, 177 passengers were eventually deported, and Air Peace returned them to Nigeria.

 

Wole Shadare