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10/07/2017

Caroline Kanzara: Manager, Fragomen – Immigration Development In Nigeria

Nigeria is considered to be the economic hub of West Africa. With this reputation as an economic powerhouse stems a large movement of goods and people into the country.

Nigeria has established one of the most rigorous and efficient immigration systems compared to the rest of Africa. The immigration system offers multiple solutions to companies moving employees whether on a short term or long term basis into this market.

Recently the government has been making efforts to further improve the immigration system whilst focusing on efficiency. This has been achieved through the introduction of the Immigration Regulations on the 20 March 2017. The Immigration Regulations create the framework for the Immigration Act of 2015. Furthermore, the Regulations raise a number of compliance issues, which corporate entities that have foreign nationals, as employees, need to be abreast of and strictly comply with. A heightened state of enforcement by the authorities has been created resulting in regular compliance audits of companies operating in Nigeria.

The Immigration Regulations, amongst other things, extended the use of the Visa on Arrival (VoA) to all business travelers in order to encourage and boost investment into Nigeria. The process for obtaining a VoA is not document intensive and the processing time is shorter.

In the same spirit of promoting investment opportunities, the Nigerian authorities issued an
executive order mandating that all applications for Business and Tourist Visas be processed
within 48 hours of submission with immediate effect.

Previously, these visa applications were processed in varying times depending on the respective diplomatic post abroad. The consular authorities have been mandated to communicate the approval or denial of the application within the 48 hours once a complete application is submitted. Failure by Immigration authorities to meet this timeline will render the application automatically approved.

Companies conducting business in Nigeria should ensure that they remain compliant and up to date with the immigration requirements. It is therefore encouraged that companies engage a professional immigration service provider with expert knowledge of the Nigerian immigration system to ensure full compliance with the Immigration Regulations.

Companies must ensure that they maintain good working relationships with government authorities in Nigeria where they are conducting business.

Failure to comply with the Immigration Regulations may result in penalties being imposed on a sponsoring company and its employees and/or even being black listed or flagged for non-compliance.

www.immigration.gov.ng

 Caroline Kanzara Manager Fragomen Immigration Development In Nigeria.JPG
 Caroline Kanzara Manager Fragomen Immigration Development In Nigeria.pdf


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