Event: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Effective March 27, 2020 the U.S. Embassy Abuja and the U.S. Consulate General Lagos have suspended routine consular services. For emergency American Citizen Services, including emergency passports, please send an email requesting an emergency appointment to LagosACS@state.gov or AbujaACS@state.gov based on your location.
The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19 and many travelers worldwide have reported unexpected flight cancellations. This message provides answer to many of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) the Embassy and Consulate have received over the past two weeks:
- Q: I am a U.S. citizen wishing to return to the U.S. What do I do?
A: U.S. citizens who are interested in returning to the U.S., but have not contacted us yet, should please fill out the electronic form corresponding to your location and submit for EACH traveler who is to be evacuated:
You will not receive an email response after completing the form. The next page that loads will say “Thanks, your response was submitted” after you have successfully submitted the form.
Important note: if you have sent us an email with these details but have not completed this form, please complete this form now for EACH member of your party.
- Q: When will the flight take place? From where?
A: We do not have specific flight information at this time, but the options we are working on would likely go to a major city somewhere on the East Coast. Both the Embassy in Abuja and Consulate in Lagos are working on flight options. Once those have been identified, we will notify U.S. citizens through the Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP).
Q: Will I be required to pay for the flight? What is the cost?
A: All individuals who choose to return to the U.S. on a flight organized by the Department of State will be required to sign a promissory note to pay for the full cost of each seat on the flight. You will not be able to pay for the flight in advance.
At this time, we do not have information on the cost of the flight. However, you will receive this information with the flight details once it is finalized.
- Q: I believe I may have the COVID-19 virus/I have been in contact with someone who has been confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus. Can I still take this evacuation flight?
A: No Following CDC guidelines, individuals who are confirmed or have symptoms, or who have been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus, are asked to self-isolate/quarantine for a period of 14 days. If that 14-day period has not passed, or if you have been tested and are positive for the virus, you will not be allowed to board the flight back to the U.S.
If you are concerned that you may be infected, please contact Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Toll free at: +234 (0) 800 9700 0010; SMS: +234 (0) 809 955 5577 WhatsApp: +234 (0) 708 711 0839.
- Q: What will happen once I get to the U.S.? Is this a roundtrip flight?
A: The flight will be one-way to a destination likely to be a major city somewhere on the East Coast. Once you arrive in the U.S., you will be responsible to get yourself to your final destination. If you need to return to Nigeria, you will also be responsible for booking and paying for that ticket as this is not a roundtrip flight.
The U.S. government will also not help you to make living arrangements in the U.S. once you arrive. It is advised that you carefully determine your living arrangements prior to boarding the flight as many hotels and services are already full or closed in the U.S.
- Q: I was told to make my way to Lagos or Abuja now in case state borders close within Nigeria. Can you help me with lodging arrangements?
A: The Embassy in Abuja and Consulate in Lagos are unable to assist with lodging, food, or transportation costs. We have also been notified that many hotels are closed or will be closing. U.S. citizens who have friends or relatives with whom they can reside in Lagos or Abuja should consider traveling there before borders close, keeping in mind that no flight details are available at present and you may need to shelter in place for a few weeks. We realize that this is not an easy decision to make. When deciding what is best for you and your family, please take all of these factors into consideration before traveling to Lagos or Abuja.
- Q: I am a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) of the U.S., can I sign up for the evacuation flight? My child is a U.S. citizen, but I am not, can I travel with my child to the U.S.? I am a U.S. citizen, but my spouse is not, can he/she travel with me?
A: We are actively seeking departure flights to help U.S. citizens return to the United States. Information will be issued regarding LPR travel once evacuation options are finalized.Please complete the above form for EACH member of your family, regardless of their immigration status, noting their status in the special consideration section.
Important Note: all travelers must have all required valid travel documents – such as a passport and any required visa – and must be otherwise eligible to travel to the United State, before being eligible to board a flight. After we review the information provided, we will determine your/your family’s eligibility to fly to the U.S. and contact you directly to make any necessary arrangements if a visa appointment is required.
- Q: I tried to register for STEP but I can’t list the U.S. as my travel destination. What do I do?
A: After you create a profile in STEP, you will need to “Add a Trip/Residence abroad” to receive emails about the country you are living or visiting. In this case, you will need to select Nigeria as your destination. The location must always be outside of the U.S.
Actions to Take:
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19