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Work Permits and Visas

Work Permits and Visas

All non-residents/citizens must obtain visas before entry into Nigeria. The exceptions are citizens of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), who only need to process ECOWAS cards on arrival. Visas are issued at the Nigerian Embassy/High Commission in the expatriate employee’s home country.

 

There are four categories of visas obtainable by a company for a non-resident/citizen:

  • Tourist
  • Business
  • Temporary Work Permit (TWP) and;
  • The subject to regularization (STR) visa. The STR is effectively a TWP eligible to be converted (regularized) into a full work/residence permit.

 

  • Tourist visas: are issued to visitors and holidaymakers only
  • Business visas: are issued to those arriving Nigeria for business meetings or delivering internal training. A business visa requires relatively minimal documentation, although a letter of invitation from the host is necessary.
  • Temporary Work Permits (TWP): are issued to expatriates coming to carry out temporary or short term assignments in Nigeria. They are normally issued as a singly entry visa valid for three months after the CGI (Comptroller General of Immigration) has approved a TWP cable in Nigeria and sent it to the embassy in the expatriate’s home country. All applications for TWP are made to the Comptroller General of Immigration by the employer company on behalf of the expatriates.

 

Subject to Regularization Visas (STR): are issued to expatriate employees who are coming to take up employment in Nigeria. The required documentation include a Curriculum Vitae, qualifications and testimonials, a job offer and acceptance, and a copy of the employer’s expatriate quota (valid for at least 6 months). These documents are reviewed at the Nigerian Embassy/High Commission in the expatriate’s home country. Once the STR visa is issued the expatriate brings certified copies of the documents with him/her into Nigeria.

 

The class of visa with which an expatriate enters into Nigeria largely determines the expatriate’s tax status in the country:

 

  • Holders of tourist and business visas should not engage in any form of paid work or gainful employment during their stay in Nigeria, and this, do not have any tax liabilities
  • Expatriate employees with a TWP are taxable of they become resident in Nigeria, based on the 183 days in any year rule.
  • Unless assessed under the provisions of a Double Taxation Agreement, expatriates with STR visas are fully taxable, since they come with a job offer-already accepted- from a local employer.

 

It is important to be guided from the start when the plan for contracting new expatriate staff is being initiated. We will provide all necessary services to guide the client on the tax obligations and immigration requirements of the company’s expatriate employees. 

Specifically, we will assist the client in:

  • Deciding on and processing the appropriate entry permits for its expatriate staff
  • Getting the company’s expatriate quota approved
  • Regularizing the STR visas and processing the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Card (CERPAC)
  • Obtaining visa extensions and re-entry
  • Providing arrival/departure counseling.