Berkeley Legal | Nigerian Immigration Permits
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04 Nov Nigerian Immigration Permits

Foreign owned companies require certain permits to engage foreign employees in Nigeria. We have set out below the key immigration permits required by foreign owned companies and non-Nigerian employees.

  • Expatriate Quota Approvals

Expatriate quota approvals permit a Nigerian company to employ expatriates to specifically approved job roles/designations. An expatriate quota approval is usually granted for a term of two (2) years subject to renewal. The application is made to the Ministry of Interior and processing of same typically take up to six (6) months or more to process.

  • Permanent Until Review Quota (P.U.R)

The PUR quota is granted for positions such as Chief Executive Officer or Country Manager. The application is made to the Ministry of Interior in the same manner as the expatriate quota position.

  • Subject to Regularization (STR) Visa

Upon obtaining the expatriate quota position, the Nigerian company is permitted to hire expatriates. An expatriate to be employed in Nigeria is required to obtain an STR visa from the Nigerian embassy in his country of origin or residence. It is pertinent to note that the expatriate employee may also apply for STR visas for his/her spouse and other dependents below eighteen (18) years of age along with his/her application. The STR visa allows the expatriate with his/her dependents entry into Nigeria and gives him/her a period of three (3) months in which to regularize his/her stay.

  • Residence Permit

On arrival of the expatriate employee into Nigeria on a valid STR visa, a Residence Permit can be procured on behalf of the expatriate under the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Card (CERPAC) scheme. The scheme is designed to give expatriates and their dependents the right to reside in Nigeria.

The Residence Permit allows the expatriate and his/her family to leave and re-enter Nigeria during the tenure of the residence permit. The application for a residence permit is made at the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Headquarters, Abuja.

  • Temporary Work Permit (TWP)

A TWP is granted to expatriates coming into Nigeria to execute specific projects or contracts within a specific period. A TWP visa is usually single entry for the duration of the TWP and is usually valid for a maximum period of two (2) to three (3) months.

It is important to note that the TWP only gives permission to the expatriate and does not extend to the spouse or dependents of the expatriate.

Our Firm is able to advise on the documentation requirements, requisite statutory fees and timeline for each category of immigration permit enumerated above.

The content of this document is solely for information purposes only and should not in any way be construed as a legal opinion. If you require specific legal advice on any of the matters covered in this article please contact