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.
Types of Work Visas in Nigeria
As of March 2023, there are three primary types of visas offered in Nigeria:
- Short trip visa
- Temporary residence visa
- Permanent residence visa
Each of these visas include a number of different sub-categories. All of these visas are issued to allow entry into Nigeria. The short trip visa is valid for three months while the temporary residence visa is valid for up to two years.
Foreign citizens who plan to take up employment in Nigeria will need to obtain a temporary residence 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.
Requirements to Obtain Nigeria Work Visas
To live and work in Nigeria, employees will need to start by obtaining a temporary residence 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 temporary residence visa endorsement
- A business permit
- Proof of payment for any applicable fees
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 a temporary residence 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 a temporary residence 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 Important Considerations
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.
Learn More About G-P
Need to onboard international employees right now? We can help with your global hiring needs. Contact us and request a proposal.
At this moment, G-P does not offer support processing work visas or permits in this particular location.
For any other inquiries about our global employment platform, contact us today.