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Nigeria Work Visas & Permits

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If your company is planning to expand operations to Nigeria, you probably want to get started as soon as possible. However, you’ll need to make sure all of your employees have the visas and permits they need to live and work in Nigeria legally.

Undertaking the process of global expansion can be challenging, especially if you’re already running a successful business. If you’re unfamiliar with the immigration process and employment laws in Nigeria, the Globalization Partners team can help. As a global PEO, we understand how to get a work visa in Nigeria and make sure your company is compliant with all the local laws and regulations.

Types of Nigerian Work Visas Available to Foreigners

There are four primary types of visas offered in Nigeria:

  • Tourist visa
  • Business visa
  • Temporary work permit
  • Subject to Regularization (STR) visa

There are a few other visas, including those for transit and diplomatic visits. All of these visas are issued to allow entry into Nigeria, and they’re all valid for three months.

Foreign citizens who plan to take up employment in Nigeria will need to obtain an STR visa. However, this visa alone does not give the holder the legal right to work in Nigeria. To do so, they will also need to obtain a Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card, or CERPAC, which is a combined permit for residency and work in Nigeria.

What Are the Requirements to Obtaining a Nigerian CERPAC?

To live and work in Nigeria, employees will need to start by obtaining an STR visa. The following documents are required:

  • A formal application from the sponsoring employer in Nigeria
  • A passport with a minimum of two blank pages and six months of validity
  • Proof of sufficient financial means
  • Two valid passport-size photos
  • A completed visa application form
  • A letter containing a job offer from a company in Nigeria and an acceptance letter from the employee
  • A copy of the employee’s CV and relevant educational qualifications
  • Expatriate quota approval

To obtain a CERPAC card, applicants will need to provide the following documents:

  • An application letter from the Nigerian employer accepting Immigration Responsibility and requesting that the employee’s stay be regularized
  • A letter of employment and acceptance of the job offer
  • A duly completed application form
  • Proof of expatriate quota approval
  • Three passport photos
  • The applicant’s passport, which should have STR visa endorsement
  • A business permit
  • Proof of payment for any applicable fees

What Is the Application Process Like for Work Visas in Nigeria?

It may be helpful to divide the application process into two parts: the steps to be taken in the employee’s country of residence, and the steps that should be taken upon the employee’s arrival in Nigeria.

Before leaving their home country, employees need to:

  • Sign an employment contract with a company in Nigeria
  • Complete an online application  for an STR visa through the Nigerian Immigration Service
  • Contact the Nigerian embassy in their country with the relevant paperwork, including proof of payment of the application fee

Applications are typically processed within seven days. After obtaining an STR visa, the employee may travel to Nigeria and complete the remaining steps:

  • Apply for regularization
  • Apply for a CERPAC card at the National Immigration Service
  • Obtain an Aliens Registration Card

Upon receiving a CERPAC card, the employee is legally able to live and work in Nigeria. The CERPAC is issued for an initial period of two years, after which it is eligible for renewal.

Other Unique Considerations for Foreign Employees in Nigeria

Should a foreign employee need to remain in Nigeria for more than two years, your company needs to be aware of the process for renewing their CERPAC. Applicants for CERPAC renewal will need to provide:

  • The original card that is expiring
  • A valid passport, along with copies of any pages that are relevant
  • Proof of quota approval
  • A letter from the employer requesting the renewal of the card

These requirements also apply to the replacement process in the event that the card is lost.

Count on Globalization Partners for Your International Business Endeavors

Globalization Partners will act as the Employer of Record during your Nigerian expansion, ensuring a smooth transition and allowing you to focus on growing your company’s bottom line. Are you ready to start employing talented workers in Nigeria? Contact our team today to learn more about our Global Expansion Platform™.

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