Officials provide additional information on e-registration
20 Sep 19
IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has released guidelines on its e-registration program for foreign nationals.
What does the change mean? Under the guidelines, foreign nationals who are 18 or older and intend to stay in Nigeria for more than 90 days must visit an e-registration center in their state of residence. They will be required to provide relevant documentation and information to complete an online registration form and have their biometrics taken.
- Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. Foreign nationals who are required to register are expected to do so by Dec. 31 at the latest. Foreign nationals, without complete travel and residency documents have been granted amnesty through the end of the year to regularize their documents.
- Visas/permits affected: All visas or permits that allow a foreign national to remain in Nigeria beyond 90 days.
- Who is affected: Foreign nationals who are 18 or older and intend to remain in Nigeria for more than 90 days. Children, short-term visitors (under 90 days), and those with diplomatic immunity do not need to register.
- Business impact: Employers are encouraged to work with foreign employees to ensure they fulfill e-registration requirements.
Background: The NIS announced the e-registration program earlier this year, saying it is undertaking the effort to develop a database of foreign nationals and improve security through better-regulated borders and stronger immigration control. Officials had planned to begin the program in July, when the NIS commissioned a new e-registration center in Abuja; however, implementation was delayed. The NIS has now provided guidance on how to carry out registration.
The documents that foreign nationals will be required to provide may vary, depending on their nationality and the type of visa they hold. Registrants are encouraged to work with Deloitte if they need additional information about the requirements. The NIS has said it will set up an online pre-registration option that would allow foreign nationals to complete the bulk of the registration process online before appearing in person for document verification and to have biometrics taken. This option, however, is currently not available.
Analysis & Comments: Employers are encouraged to work with employees to ensure they are properly registered at the appropriate registration center. Failure to register carries the possibility of stiff penalties, including up to three years in prison, a fine of 500,000 naira (about US$1,390), or both. Deloitte is available to assist employers in making sure their employees properly complete the e-registration procedures.
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