Doing Business In Nigeria (Part 2)- Resident Permit In Nigeria

Are You A Foreigner And Desire to Do Business & Live In Nigeria?

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FAQs On Expatriate Quota, Business Permit And CERPAC (Resident Permit) In Nigeria

Q: How do I obtain a business permit in Nigeria?

A: A business permit is a government approval that allows a foreign national or foreign company to operate a business in Nigeria either as a branch or subsidiary of a foreign company or otherwise. Foreigners can legally start a business in Nigeria with the use of a business permit. This permit is gotten after applying to the Ministry of Interior and with the consent of the Minister of Interior.

Q: What are the requirements for grant of a business permit?

A: These requirements are for wholly owned companies and joint ventures with foreign participation:

  • Application on company’s letter head and paper addressed to the permanent secretary ministry of interior desk (NIPC/OSIC). The application letter must contain the RC number of the company, the names of directors, the names of the Directors, a functional Email Address and Phone Number        
  • Certificate of incorporation of business name duly issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Feasibility Report/Business plan
  • CAC form 2.3 & 2.5 or CAC C02 & CO7 or CAC 1.1 or e-status report applicable (with minimum of share capital of (N10million)
  • Joint venture agreement for partnership or venture between Nigerians and Foreigners
  • Company’s Current Tax Clearance Certificate (Original to be presented for sighting) or individual income tax certificates for partnership businesses/firms as applicable
  • Evidence of acquisition of operating premises I.E lease/tenancy agreement, C of O or R of O
  • Certificate of Capital Importation along with a covering letter from the bank (where applicable)
  • Evidence of importation of equipment/machinery with details of the value or Form M.
  • Data page of international passport of directors/National identity card
  • Bank statement
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Q: What is an Expatriate Quota?

It is an approval granted to registered firms and companies to employ the services of expatriates with suitable competences, with a view to training Nigerians and transferring the necessary skills during the period of employment of the expatriates. An Expatriate Quota states the number of foreigners employable by business registered firms and companies operating or wishing to operate in Nigeria.

Q: What are the Documentary Requirements for the grant of Expatriate Quota?

A: Below are the requirements for grant of an expatriate quota

  • Application letter on company’s letter head
  • Certificate of incorporation or registration of business name duly issued by CAC
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Feasibility report/Business plan or company profile where Applicable
  • CAC form 2.3 & 2.5 or CAC CO2 & CO7 or CAC 1.1 or e-status report as applicable
  • Joint venture agreement for partnership or venture between Nigerians and Foreigners
  • Company’s Current Tax Clearance Certificate or individual income tax certificates for partnership businesses/firms
  • Evidence of acquisition of operating premises i.e. lease/tenancy agreement, C of O or R of O
  • Detailed training program for Nigerians
  • Evidence of machinery imported, such as Form M, proforma invoice, shipping documents and clean certificate of inspection, bill of lading issued by the government appointed inspection at destination (where applicable)
  • License/permit/certificate from relevant government agencies/department/ministries to operate business legally in Nigeria for companies engaged in oil exploration/services, health care services, fishing, mining, engineering services;
  • Evidence of work at hand, its duration and value attached to the contact(s) if the company is engaged in building, civil engineering, construction (where application)
  • Evidence of capital importation (where applicable)
  • Job description of the proposed expatriate quota position to be recruited indicating designation and qualifications.

Q: Who can benefit from the grant of an Expatriate Quota?

A: Any Company, Firm or Organization that satisfies the fundamental conditions and is lawfully registered in Nigeria and licensed to conduct business operations or approved activity can apply for and be awarded an Expatriate Quota.

Q: Can an un-registered entity benefit from the grant of an Expatriate Quota?

A: Granting of Expatriate Quota is dependent on the registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) or any other duly authorized governmental agency.

Q: What is the difference between Expatriate Quota and Business Permit?

A: Expatriate Quota is an approval granted to registered firms and companies to employ the services of expatriates with suitable competences, with a view to training Nigerians and transferring the necessary skills during the period of employment of the expatriates while is a government approval that allows a foreign national or foreign company to operate a business in Nigeria.

Q: When should an application for Expatriate Quota be made?

A: An application for Expatriate Quota can be made as soon as the company is incorporated or once business operations begin, or whenever else is necessary after that.

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Q: Who approves an Expatriate Quota Certificate?

A: The Minister of Interior Affairs, working in consonance with the Citizens and Business Department of the Ministry is responsible for the approval of an Expatriate Quota application.

Q: What is the validity period of an Expatriate Quota?

A: An Expatriate Quota is granted for an initial period of 3 years. However, it can be renewed for an additional period of two years. During this period, all necessary and relevant skills comprised in the position should have been to have been transmitted to qualified Nigerian.

Q: What is the timeline for processing Expatriate Quota?

A: The processing time is about 20 business days.

Q: Are there different types of Expatriate Quota?

A: Yes. There are two types of Expatriate Quota.

  • Temporary Expatriate Quota
  • Permanent Until Reviewed (PUR).

Q: What is the difference between these two classes of Expatriate Quota?

A: Permanent Until Reviewed (PUR) Expatriate Quota is granted to applicants on a more long-term basis. It is typically given to a company’s highest top management and reserved for the Chairman or the Managing Director. In order to protect the interests of the investors, a Permanent Until Reviewed (PUR) Expatriate Quota is granted.

A Temporary Expatriate Quota is reserved for positions that would be filled temporarily and are applicable to other designations in a Company.

Q: Are there Post Approval Compliance Requirements?

A: Yes. Beneficiaries of Expatriate Quota approvals are required to employ 2 Nigerian for each approved position and to render Monthly Immigration returns to the Ministry of Interior and the Nigerian Immigration Service.

Q: Can an Approved Expatriate Quota Position be re-designated?

A: If the necessity arises and in particular when it is unable to locate qualified candidates for previously approved jobs, a position may be re-designated.

Q: Can an Expatriate Quota Lapse?

A: If the benefited company does not fill the approved positions during the approved period or any additional time period that the Minister may specify, the approval for the expatriate quota may expire. A lost Expatriate Quota can however be recovered.

Q: How can an Expatriate Quota be renewed?

A: An approved expatriate quota can be renewed upon expiration of the initial period stated on the Certificate. Applications for renewal of expatriate quota are considered by the Citizens and Business Department of the Ministry of Interior.

Q: What is the timeline for processing renewal of Expatriate Quota?

A: It takes approximately 10 business days to renew an expatriate quota.

Q: Can additional Expatriate Quota be granted after the initial grant?

A: Yes, a corporate entity can apply for additional expatriate quota when the company has a need to hire more expatriates after receiving the initial grant. A proper application is submitted to that effect.

Q: What is a work permit?

A work permit allows a foreigner to work in Nigeria.

Q: What are the different visas for foreigners?

Yes, there are three common types of visas and they are listed below:

  • Visa-on Arrival
  • Business Visa
  • Subject to regularization visa

Q: What is a Subject to regularization visa?

This is for expatriates taking up long term employment in Nigeria or has the intention of staying for a long period of time. Subject to regularization visa is valid for only 90 days. An application must be made to the comptroller general of immigration in Nigeria.

Q: What are the requirements for subject to regularization visa?

  • A: Passport with at least 6 months validity
  • Completed visa form in quadruplicate with four recent passport photographs
  • Four copies of letter of Expatriate Quota Approval from Ministry of Interior
  • Four copies of credentials, certificates and curriculum vitae, all vetted by a relevant official of Nigerian High Commission/Embassy (English Certified translated copy where applicable)
  • Four copies of offer Letter of Employment
  • Four copies of Letter of Acceptance of employment, signed by expatriate
  • Nigeria Immigration Service Visa Payment Receipt and Visa Acknowledgement Receipt

Q: What is the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit along with Alien Card (CERPAC)?

A: Any Expatriate who intends to live and work in Nigeria for more than 56 days is required to obtain a CERPAC. CERPAC is a document that allows a non-Nigerian to reside and work in Nigeria. It is valid for two years and subject to renewal

Q: What Are The Requirements For Resident Card (CERPAC)

A: CERPAC is a document that permits a non-Nigerian to work and reside in Nigeria. CERPAC has a two-year validity period and can be renewed.

The requirements for this permit are as follows:

  • Employer’s letter requesting Regularization of Stay and accepting Immigration Responsibility (IR) on the expatriate’s behalf.
  • Letter of Offer and evidence of acceptance of offer.
  • Form IMM22 with three (3) Passport-size photographs.

Kudi Konsult can assist you in structuring your business in Nigeria and can also offer immigration support For enquiries please call Ola on +23481 8682 7893 or chact by clicking the Whatsapp Icon below.

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