STR Visa (Subject to Regularisation)
This is the type of visa required by foreigners seeking to take up employment in Nigeria. Section 8, sub-section 1, of the Immigration Act provides that “no person, not being a citizen of Nigeria, may take up employment in Nigeria other than employment with the Federal or State government without the consent of the Comptroller-General of Immigration”. Section 33 of the Act further provides that an application must be made to the Comptroller-General by the prospective employer, in writing, confirming that he/she has a vacancy on the expatriate quota and at the same time stating the position in which prospective employee is to be employed and confirming acceptance of immigration responsibility.
The employer company applies to the Nigerian embassy or consular office in the country where such intending employee/applicant resides, requesting that he (and his accompanying spouse/fiance/children, if applicable) be granted STR visa (subject to regularisation for residents work permit) when he arrives in Nigeria. In such application, the employer company undertakes to assume immigration and other responsibilities for the employee (and his accompanying spouse/fiance/children, if applicable) in Nigeria. The STR visa is issued at Nigerian mission without reference to the Comptroller-General of Immigration provided that the applicant presents specified documents. STR visa is normally given for 90 days without reference during which an application must be made to the Comptroller-General of Immigration, to regularise the stay of the prospective employee, and the person may assume his employment only when such application is approved and a RESIDENCE WORK PERMIT granted.
Registration of Aliens
Having undergone the various legal formalities for residency status, all foreigners are expected to register their presence at the immigration offices closest to their places of residence or occupation. It should be noted that for this purpose, all the state immigration offices are representatives of the Comptroller-General of Immigration and application for regulation should be made to them, which they would refer accordingly, for approval to issue the residence permit.
Temporary Work Permit (T.W.P)
Companies and organisations wishing to engage the services of expatriates for short period assignments, are required to apply directly to the Comptroller-General in Abuja for visa/entry permits for such expatriates. This is the temporary work permit (visa) and is not issued without the approval of the Comptroller-General of Immigration. If such applications are submitted at the Nigerian missions abroad, they must be referred to the Comptroller-General of Immigration for approval. The temporary assignments which are eligible for such approval include:
1) Erection/installation work;
2) Feasibility studies;
3) Repairs of machinery/equipment;
4) Auditing of accounts;
5) Research work and such other assignments as may fall into this category.