Nigeria’s Immigration Act is revised for Expats, Diaspora and Locals
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has introduced new immigration policies that will put Nigeria at the forefront of the global economy. Under the new immigration policies an investor who imports a certain threshold of capital will be permitted to receive a special class permanent residency status in Nigeria, under the “automatic expatriate quota allocation” policy.
Of course this will be subject to certain the business being a verifiable new business and the investor would be expected to do so for a minimum period of 5 years.
What was changed?
The new policies include a new visa policy, reforms and abolition of re-entry visa which allows expats in Nigeria to be legally resident in the country.
Once the new immigration Act is implemented, Immigration Courts will be built at certain Ports, for the purpose of resolving an immigration-related issues, swiftly.
How will Nigeria benefit?
This new visa regime is aimed at the following:
Increasing Nigeria’s foreign direct investment (FDI),
Encouraging rapid industrialisation
Increasing Nigeria’s employment rate
Boosting the tourism sector
Attracting skilled professionals
It is also said to ease the cost of doing business in Nigeria overall.
What about Nigerian Diaspora?
A special provision will be made for Permanent Resident Nigerian Diaspora who wish to return to Nigeria. Those who lost their Nigerian citizenship under the previous immigration policy, will again be granted their permanent residence permits.
This move is to stimulate the inflow of remittances which is said to be Nigeria’s second largest source of foreign exchange inflow after oil export receipts in Nigeria.
The new reform is in line with global best practice and government’s quest for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI);
Be careful when acting under the new policies. The Immigration Act 2015 provides an extensive and updated legal framework for the control and regulation of expatriates’ employment in Nigeria with provisions for offences applicable penalties!
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